By: April Carson
The Belgian police have warned citizens of the return and resurgence of a malware virus called 'Joker' that is capable disguising itself as various applications on Google Play Store. This can result in users not noticing their bank accounts are emptied without them authorizing it, which gives hackers an opportunity to steal information such as passwords or credit card numbers from infected smartphones.
It's important to note that this virus resurfaced again, it's made an appearance before. The first time it appeared was in 2017 and now it is back. It hid in many apps and created havoc for some people as a result.
This type of malicious software has targeted Android devices for years now and was seen resurfacing within recent weeks by attacking unsuspecting smartphone owners through hiding under fake apps at places like Google's app store. The malware will subscribe its victims to payment services they did not authorize before emptying their funds when checking out with no notice given either to customers or the app stores.
How does the Virus work?
The Joker Trojan virus is the latest form of malware to be discovered. It belongs in a family known as Bread, whose objective it is to hack cell phone bills and authorize operations without user consent; researchers from Quick Heal Security Lab say this can happen through text messages, contacts or anything else on an infected smartphone.
The app(s) will still work as normal on the surface but be secretly siphoning funds from you to hackers in some other country who are waiting for just that moment when they're ready to make a withdrawal. Your best bet if you don't want them hitting up your account again is going into settings, checking all permissions granted by any apps and refuse any new programs access until we know more about how these criminal masterminds got away with such an insidious plot!
The ad-loaded apps on Google Play that contain the malware are said to be able to modify victims' internet banking accounts. These apps are being downloaded worldwide but it's not clear how many people have been fooled into downloading them because as "Joker" has proven in the past, everyone loves a great joke... And now for another one!
A New Wave of the 'Joker' Virus Hits Google Play
A new wave of malicious apps containing the Trojan known as the 'Joker' virus are in circulation on Google Play, according to Kaspersky Lab. At least 4 titles have so far been found with this malware and one has already been downloaded more than 100,000 times!
The discovery of an insidious malware at large across numerous platforms should come as no surprise for anyone who pays attention to these things; however it's not often you hear about such nefarious activity affecting our smartphones! In September 2020 researchers revealed that 24 Android applications had suffered from infection by the so called "joker" app which managed over 500k downloads worldwide before being shut down only days after its discovery.
Here is a list of apps affected by the 'joker' virus in Google Play:
Fast Magic SMS