Joker Malware: An app vulnerability that may have tricked you to steal your money

Joker malware reportedly start spreading this June 2019 and India is among the infected countries.

Researchers have found that 24 apps on the Google Play Store were infected by what's being called the Joker Malware, that extracted money from users by subscribing them to paid subscriptions without their knowledge.

CSIS Security Group spotted this malware and wrote in their blog post that the Joker malware start spreading this June 2019 and India is among the infected countries.

Notably, though, all the affected apps have been removed from the Play Store.

Representational Image.

Representational Image.

What is Joker malware?

Reportedly, the malware stole money from a user’s account by signing them up for premium subscriptions. It starts by silently simulating interaction with an advertisement without the user knowing and then even steals the victim’s SMS messages, which might contain OTP to authenticate payments.

Which means, with the access to their SMS inbox, the hacker could be stealing money without the users knowing anything about it, unless they check their account statement.

“This strategy works by automating the necessary interaction with the premium offer’s webpage, entering the operator’s offer code, then waiting for a SMS message with a confirmation code and extracting it using regular expressions. Finally, the Joker submits the extracted code to the offer’s webpage, in order to authorize the premium subscription,” the post reads.

Which apps are affected by Joker malware?

The affected apps include:

  1. Advocate Wallpaper
  2. Age Face
  3. Altar Message
  4. Antivirus Security- Security Scan
  5. Beach Camera
  6. Board Picture Editing
  7. Certain Wallpaper
  8. Climate SMS
  9. Collate Face Scanner
  10. Cute Camera
  11. Dazzle Wallpaper
  12. Declare Wallpaper
  13. Display Camera
  14. Great VPN
  15. Humour Camera
  16. Ignite Clean
  17. Leaf Face Scanner
  18. Mini Camera
  19. Print Plant Scan
  20. Rapid Face Scanner
  21. Reward Clean
  22. Ruddy SMS
  23. Soby Camera
  24. Spark Wallpaper

While the apps have been removed from the Play Store, if you are still using them, or even if you just have any of these installed on your smartphone, you are recommended to uninstall and delete the app from your smartphone.

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