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Joker malware discovered in multiple apps with thousands of installs on the Google Play Store

The Joker malware can obtain SMS management information that leads to unwanted premium SMS subscription signups. (Image source: Unsplash - edited)
The Joker malware can obtain SMS management information that leads to unwanted premium SMS subscription signups. (Image source: Unsplash - edited)
More than a dozen apps have been highlighted by a malware analyst because they have been infected by the notorious Joker software. Installing Joker can lead the user to being subscribed to services they do not require, incurring a loss of income. One of the infected apps, EmojiOneKeyboard, has already registered over 50,000 installs.

A malware analyst for Kaspersky, Tatyana Shishkova, has been tracking the appearance of Joker malware on numerous apps that have been available at some point on the Google Play Store. While some of the apps have registered barely any installs, quite a few have had thousands of downloads. The Joker malware has made numerous appearances over the years, with our last report on it detailing how it can access contacts and SMS messages without user permission.

More than a dozen apps have now been reported in association with the Joker malware, so if your device features any of these programs you should delete them and make sure you scan your phone for any kind of infection or corrupt software:

  • EmojiOne Keyboard (50,000+ installs)
  • Now QRcode Scan (10,000+ installs)
  • Classic Emoji Keyboard (5,000+ installs)
  • Super Hero-Effect (5,000+ installs)
  • Blender Photo Editor-Easy Photo Background Editor (5,000+ installs)
  • Battery Charging Animations Battery Wallpaper (1,000+ installs)
  • Smart TV Remote (1,000+ installs)
  • Volume Booster Louder Sound Equalizer (100+ installs)
  • Easy PDF Scanner (10+ installs)
  • Volume Booster Hearing Aid (10+ installs)
  • Battery Charging Animation Bubble Effects (10+ installs)
  • Dazzling Keyboard (10+ installs)
  • Flashlight Flash Alert on Call (1+ install)
  • Halloween Coloring (1+ install)

These are just the most recent additions to Shishkova’s list, which can be checked via her Twitter feed. Many other apps infected by Joker malware have also been listed going back many months. Some of these also have multiple thousands of installs, so users should make sure that none of the affected apps currently reside on their smartphone.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 11 > Joker malware discovered in multiple apps with thousands of installs on the Google Play Store
Daniel R Deakin, 2021-11-23 (Update: 2021-11-23)