A number of apps have again appeared in the Google Play Store that contain the persistent Joker malware. This malware is specifically aimed at Android users and can copy text messages, contacts and device information, among other things. Here you can read how the malware works and which apps are involved.
But that’s certainly not all. The most annoying feature of this malware is that users can automatically and without their knowledge be signed up for paid, very expensive Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) services, according to cybersecurity company Zscaler. The various apps with this malware have entered the Google Play Store by deviously bypassing the verification process.
The next time you receive the bill from your telecom provider in the mailbox, you will be scared of an accident: the service costs for these subscriptions are charged directly and it is an unpleasant surprise if you suddenly have to dig deep into your pockets for a subscription that you Never wanted to at all.
Outdated technology, but not completely gone
However, it is good to provide a little bit of context and explanation. The WAP technology is now quite outdated. What you should think of in principle are subscription services that were brought to the attention of television in an aggressive manner, especially around the beginning of this millennium.
Think of advertising subscription services to receive horoscopes, backgrounds or ring tones. The starting point is’ Sms HOROSCOPE ON to NUMBER‘, but because the fine print was deliberately skilfully hidden away, before you know it you were stuck with a very expensive subscription that you only got off with a lot of effort. Many a parent would have sighed at the kitchen table at the time after their son or daughter accidentally took out such a subscription, and some telecom cowboys have become sleeping rich with it.
In the current construction it works more or less in the same way: the apps in which the malware is hidden, manage to gain access to certain rogue websites unnoticed in order to purchase expensive subscription services in your name. You usually only realize that when the bill falls on the proverbial mat, and then of course it is already too late.
Which apps are these exactly?
According to PCMag, it concerns the following seventeen apps:
- All Good PDF Scanner
- Blue Scanner
- Care Message
- Desire Translate
- Direct Messenger
- Hummingbird PDF Converter – Photo to PDF
- Meticulous Scanner
- Mint Leaf Message-Your Private Message
- One Sentence Translator – Multifunctional Translator
- Paper Doc Scanner
- Part Message
- Private SMS
- Photo Collage Style
- Talent Photo Editor – Blur focus
- Tangram App Lock
- Unique Keyboard – Fancy Fonts & Free Emoticons
- All Good PDF Scanner*
The latter is in it twice, and that is because researchers are currently assuming that two variants of this app have been in the Play Store. Google has since removed these apps from the Play Store, but what Google obviously cannot do is remove these apps remotely from each individual device. You really have to do that yourself. It goes like this:
- Open the Play Store;
- Tap the icon with the three bars in the top left;
- Choose the option My apps and games in the menu that appears on your screen;
- Choose the option Installed from the list of apps that appears on your screen;
- Tap the app you wish to remove;
- Choose the option remove and then choose OK
Bron: PCMag / Zscaler
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