A malware, identified as Joker (or Bread), is found lingering in a handful of Android apps that are hosted in the Google Play Store, leading to the belief that millions of devices might be infected as a result.
Google’s ongoing commitment to making the Google Play Store safe for its users has been tested again after it detected the presence of yet another set of apps that have the Joker malware in them. A third case for Google, following the previous two encounters in recent months.
Deeper investigation suggests that the malicious apps have been active in the platform since March, consequently infecting millions of Android devices that installed them.
How the Joker malware affects its victims is a case of using a technique called “droppers” which bypasses Google’s security, invade the Google Play Store, and further compromising the infected device in multiple stages.
While how it works is known, which the tech giant itself describes as “simple technology,” Google claims that the method is difficult to defend from.
Part of the conundrum boils down to the cunning and opportunistic nature of the malware’s algorithm where attacks are often delayed for hours or days, significantly causing the otherwise malignant app to evade detection from the Google security, and then causing serious mischief when the opportunity presents.
Here are the list of infected apps:
- Tangram App Lock
- Paper Doc Scanner
- Private SMS
- Direct Messenger
- Meticulous Scanner
- Powerful Cleaner
- One Sentence Translator – Multifunctional Translator
- Style Photo Collage
- Talent Photo Editor – Blur focus
- Blue Scanner
- Mint Leaf Message-Your Private Message
- Care Message
- All Good PDF Scanner
- Part Message
- Desire Translate
- Hummingbird PDF Converter – Photo to PDF
- Unique Keyboard – Fancy Fonts & Free Emoticons