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Sharmili Mallick

The Joker malware had created quite a scare last year after it infected several apps list in the Google play store. Later, Google had to remove those apps to protect the users.

Tatyana Shishkova, Analyst at Kaspersky recently alerted Android phone users about the return of the malware. Shishkova, through a tweet, mentioned that at least 14 Android apps are infected with Joker malware. 

Some of the infected apps are quite popular and have over 50,000 installs while others are little known.

What is Joker malware and how does it work?

Joker malware infects apps on the Google Play store and enters mobile phones after users download the infected apps. The malware was first found in 2017 and Google has been taking strict action against it to secure its users from the malware over the years.

Once installed, the Joker malware immediately begins spying on the user’s phone, steals information and sends it back to the hackers remotely. Joker copies SMS text messages and contact lists, providing criminals with sensitive personal information that can be used for identity theft, fraud or to launch other hacking activities.

The Joker malware can also steal money from users by subscribing to online services in the background without the knowledge of the user. It can automatically enroll infected devices for premium wireless application protocol (WAP) services and can even access OTPs from SMS to secretly approve payments.

However, an Android smart phone user can urgently check for the following 15 apps and delete it to prevent Joker malware infection:

1. Easy PDF Scanner

2. Now QRCode Scan

3. Super-Click VPN

4. Volume Booster Louder Sound Equalizer

5. Battery Charging Animation Bubble Effects

6. Smart TV Remote

7. Volume Boosting Hearing Aid

8. Flashlight Flash Alert on Call

9. Halloween Coloring

10. Classic Emoji Keyboard

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