We’ve warned about this virus before, and now it has resurfaced again. The joker virus is capable of subscribing the user to payment services without their authorization and emptying their bank accounts without them noticing.
Belgian Police has warned and tagged it the return of Joker virus.
“This malicious program has been detected in eight Play Store applications that Google has suppressed,” say the Belgian authorities in a statement published this Friday on their website.
The ‘Joker’ malware became famous in 2017 for infecting and robbing its victims by hiding in different applications. Since then, the Google Play Store defense systems have removed around 1,700 apps with the ‘Joker’ malware before they were downloaded by users.
In September 2020, the ‘Joker’ virus was found in 24 Android applications that registered more than 500 thousand downloads before being removed. It is estimated that that time it affected more than 30 countries including the United States, Brazil and Spain. Through unauthorized subscriptions, hackers could steal up to $ 7 (about N3500 Nigerian naira) per subscription weekly, a figure that has most likely increased in recent months.
How the Joker Virus Work in Android Apps
The ‘Joker’ Trojan virus belongs to a family of malware known as Bread, whose objective is to hack cell phone bills and authorize operations without the user’s consent.
Researchers from the cybersecurity company Quick Heal Security Lab, cited in the statement, explain that this virus can enter text messages, contacts and other information on the infected smartphone.
What makes this malware more dangerous is its ability to subscribe the affected Android user to paid services, usually Premium or the most expensive version, without their prior authorization.
In the beginning, apps infected with ‘Joker’ or another Malware from this family carried out fraud via SMS, but then began to attack online payments.
Android Apps that Contain the ‘Joker Virus?
On this occasion, the harmful applications that the Google Play Store eliminated after detecting that they contained the ‘Joker’ virus are:
- Auxiliary Message
- Element Scanner
- Fast Magic SMS
- Free CamScanner
- Go Messages
- Super Message
- Super SMS
- Travel Wallpapers
However, other specialists warn that more apps are affected and, therefore, millions of users who do not know that they are already victims of this cyber fraud.
The cybersecurity company Zscaler, cited by La Razón , made public the names of 16 other apps that, according to their analysis, also contain this malicious code:
- Private SMS
- Hummingbird PDF Converter – Photo to PDF
- Style Photo Collage
- Talent Photo Editor – Blur focus
- Paper Doc Scanner
- All Good PDF Scanner
- Care Message
- Part Message
- Blue Scanner
- Direct Messenger
- One Sentence Translator – Multifunctional Translator
- Mint Leaf Message-Your Private Message
- Unique Keyboard – Fancy Fonts & Free Emoticons
- Tangram App Lock
- Desire Translate
- Meticulous Scanner
Check if you have any of the apps installed on your smartphone and deleted them immediately.