Numerous spyware-infested apps found on Google Play Store
The new spyware infects Android apps on Google Play after being downloaded to steal users’ SMS messages, contact lists, and device information. This malware is also stealing victims’ details. It secretly signs them up for premium service subscriptions that can gradually empty your wallet.
Recently Google has detached eight apps from its Google Play Store that were generating a new variant of the Joker Spyware-Infested Apps. However, the apps had 3 million downloads.
Researchers warned that in the past few weeks, the malware entitled “The Joker” has been seen in 24 malicious apps, totaling 472,000 installs on the Android App marketplace. However, the Google spokesperson states that all the apps are removed from the Google Play Store.
What are the effects of several types of malware on end users?
Ingrao found the malware in Joker, Facestealer, Autolycos, and Coper Malware apps.
Google removed the 60 spyware-infested apps installed by 3.3 million gamblers from their Play Store. The criminals can use them for credential theft, bugging, and abducting money from victims.
The very first malware Joker was detected in 2017. After that, in June 2021, Security researcher Maxime Ingrao from fraud protection firm Evina found the eight spyware-infested apps on Play Store. He discovered malware, which can secretly sign the user for premium service subscriptions that could bankrupt them. Also, he states that more than 300,000 Joker-escalating apps got downloaded.
The cybercriminals are promoting the Autolycos malware through Facebook pages and running ads on Facebook and Instagram.
Another malware Strain identical to Joker, when downloaded, abducts SMS messages, contact lists, and device data and, without users’ consent, subscribes them to premium wireless application protocol services and other malicious activities. Generally, Joker malware hides in the advertising frameworks used by malicious apps to distribute in-app advertisements.
A “splash” screen would appear after installing apps with Joker, displaying the app’s logo to throw victims off. Besides, it executes various malicious processes in the background, including abducting SMSes and contact lists, performing ad fraud, and other vicious activities.
The Eight apps which Ingrao discovers are:
- Vlog Star Video Editor – 1 million downloads
- Creative 3D Launcher – 1 million downloads
- Wow Beauty Camera – 100,000 downloads
- Gif Emoji Keyboard – 100,000 downloads
- FreeGlow Camera 1.0.0 – 5,000 downloads
- Coco Camera v1.1 – 1,000 downloads
- Funny Camera by KellyTech – 500,000 downloads
- Razer Keyboard & Theme by Rxcheldiolola – 50,000 downloads.
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