Google blocked 17 apps after a malware attack impacted over 1 lakh users

Author at TechGenyz Google
Google Joker Virus
Credit: Envato Elements

Various news outlets have reported that various Google applications were compromised due to a malware attack. The malware has been identified as Joker Virus.

Google found out that certain applications had become dangerous to users after getting infected by the Joker virus. with the help of Zsclaer, a cloud-based IT security company. Viral Gandhi from Zscaler informed that their Zscaler ThreatLabZ research team had been constantly monitoring the Joker malware. After finding its presence on the Google Play Store they instantly notified Google.

The malware has been found out to be designed for stealing personal data from smartphone users. This is not new, however, the threat of data-theft has always remained despite regular revamping of phone security by Android.

ThreatLabz investigation revealed that 17 applications were under the spell of the virus. The malware has been found out to be designed for stealing personal data from smartphone users. This is not new, however, the threat of data-theft has always remained despite regular revamping of phone security by Android.

The developers of the Joker virus place it inside an app, which then can easily gain access to SMS, contact lists and also collect information about the device. This malware can also dupe the users into signing up for premium Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) services. Once signed up, WAP services covertly initiate buying content from website without approval from the user, and consigns the victim to a huge mobile phone bill.

Thanks to quick action from Google, all the infected applications were blocked immediately, and a safety-alert was issued. Despite that around 1.2 lakh users managed to install the bugged applications. The impacted users were directed to delete the infected apps with immediate effect to counter the threat.

Zscaler identified the following programs to have been impacted by the malware:

  • PDF file converters: Hummingbird PDF Converter – Photo to PDF
  • Photo-based applications: Style Photo Collage, Talent Photo Editor – Blur focus
  • Instant messengers: Mint Leaf Message-Your Private Message, Direct Messenger, Private SMS, Care Message, Part Message
  • Translators: One Sentence Translator – Multifunctional Translator, Desire to Translate
  • Scanners: All Good PDF Scanner, Meticulous Scanner, Paper Doc Scanner, Blue Scanner
  • Others: Unique Keyboard – Fancy Fonts & Free Emoticons, Tangram App Lock
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