17 Android App Removed by Google From Play Store After found Stealing User Data
The technical research firm said that the 17 apps identified by it were uploaded to Google Play Store in September 2020.
Google has removed some Android applications from its Play Store after they were found to be infected with Joker malware. Joker malware is typically employed by attackers to urge into Android phones and steal information like SMS messages, OTPs, and user data. The spyware is usually wont to signed up victims for premium wireless application protocol (WAP) services without their knowledge. The removal comes after researchers at security firm Zscaler spotted the malware and alerted Google. Zscaler security researcher Viral Gandhi said that Google's Android Security team took prompt action to get rid of the suspicious apps from the Google Play store.
The technical research firm said that the 17 apps identified by it were uploaded to Google Play Store in September 2020. These apps were downloaded 1,20,000 times in total. Gandhi, during a blog post, said that monitoring the Joker spyware prompted the firm to guage how Joker is successful at getting around Google Play's vetting process. Further, Zscaler went on to elucidate the tactics employed by the malware author to bypass Google Play Store's approval process within the blog post. Following are the 17 apps removed by Google:
- Style Photo Collage
- Meticulous Scanner
- Desire Translate
- Talent Photo Editor - Blur focus
- Care Message
- Part Message
- Paper Doc Scanner
- Blue Scanner
- Tangram App Lock
- Direct Messenger
- Private SMS
- All Good PDF Scanner
- Mint Leaf Message-Your Private Message
- Unique Keyboard - Fancy Fonts & Free Emoticons
- One Sentence Translator - Multifunctional Translator
A report in ZDNet said that Google even used its Play Protect service to disable the apps on already infected devices. However, users would still got to remove them from their smartphones. Google had, during a January blog post, said that Joker is that the most persistent and advanced threat it's addressed within the past few years. the corporate said that its security teams have removed quite 1,700 apps containing Joker malware from the Play Store since 2017.