Google bans 50 Android apps: The apps Android phone users must delete now, what is the ‘Joker’ bug?

Google bans 50 Android apps: The apps Android phone users must delete now, what is the ‘Joker’ bug?

Why have 50 Android apps been banned?

Google has just banned another 50 applications from the Play Store.

The security team at Zscaler (an IT security company) discovered that the troublesome apps had been stealing personal details, intercepting private text messages and even forcing some users into subscription plans they never intended to use.

Google recently blocked 50 popular apps from the Play Store that were loaded with dangerous malware that could secretly steal your money.

All apps contained “virulent” malware including the infamous Joker bug. Joker, once installed, can implant hidden spyware and dialers on devices, which can sign users up to expensive monthly subscription plans.

In previous cases, some victims paid hundreds of pounds a year due to fraudulent subscriptions.

Coper malware was also found in the apps, which can intercept text messages, unlock devices and prevent the removal of malware.

Commenting on the malware, Zscaler said that despite the Google Play Store being “one of the safest sources for users to find and install Android apps,” threat actors have unfortunately evolved their tactics.

After their team discovered the malware, they “immediately notified the Google Android Security team about these newly identified threats, and they immediately removed the malicious apps from the Google Play Store.”

Which apps were banned from the Google Play Store?

Simple Note Scanner, Universal PDF Scanner, Private Messenger, Premium SMS, Smart Messages, Text Emoji SMS, Blood Pressure Checker, Funny Keyboard, Memory Silent Camera, Custom Themed Keyboard, Light Messages, Themes Photo Keyboard, Send SMS, Themes Chat Messenger, Instant Messenger, Cool Keyboard, Fonts Emoji Keyboard, Mini PDF Scanner, Smart SMS Messages, Creative Emoji Keyboard, Fancy SMS, Fonts Emoji Keyboard (2), Personal Message, Funny Emoji Message, Magic Photo Editor, Professional Messages, All Photo Translator, Chat SMS, Smile Emoji, Wow Translator, Translate All Languages, Cool Messages, Blood Pressure Diary, Chat Text SMS, Hi Text SMS, Emoji Theme Keyboard, iMessages, Text SMS, Camera Translator, Come Messages, Painting Photo Editor, Rich Theme Message , Quick Talk Message , Advanced SMS, Professional Messenger, Classic Game Messenger, Style Message, Private Game Messages, Timestamp Camera, Social Message.

The full list of banned apps and additional information can be found on the Zscaler website.

How can you avoid downloading dangerous apps?

Security experts recommend downloading programs only if they are from a trusted/well-known source.

Keep an eye out for apps with high install numbers and credible review scores.

After installation, do not grant permissions on your phone immediately unless you are completely convinced about the app and its source.

Furthermore, if you receive an unusual link from a friend inviting you to join an app, it is best to avoid doing so as this is a common technique used by hackers to spread their bugs.

If you are ever exposed to malware from the Play Store, report it to Google immediately.

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