June 9, 2023

The Belgian Police warned about the¬†return of the ‘Joker’ virus¬†, which attacks¬†Android devices¬†and hides itself in various¬† applications¬†on the¬†Google Play Store. This¬†malware¬†is capable of subscribing the user to payment services without their authorization and¬†emptying their bank accounts¬†without them noticing.

The¬†‘Joker’¬†malware¬†became famous in 2017 for infecting and robbing its victims by hiding in different applications. Since then, the¬†Google Play Store¬†defense systems have removed around¬†1,700 apps with the ‘Joker’ malware¬†before they were downloaded by users.

In September 2020, the Joker virus was found in 24 Android applications that registered more than 500 thousand downloads before being removed. It is estimated that that time it affected more than 30 countries including the United States, Brazil and Spain.

How Joker Works ?

The¬†‘Joker’ Trojan virus¬†belongs to a family of¬†malware¬†known as¬†Bread¬†, whose objective is to¬†hack cell phone bills¬†and¬†authorize operations without¬†the user’s consent. This virus can¬†enter text messages¬†,contacts and¬† other information on the¬†infected smartphone.

It starts with, apps infected with¬†‘Joker’¬†or another Malware¬†from this family carried out¬†fraud via SMS¬†, but then began to attack¬†online payments¬†.

Apps that has a Risk of Joker

The harmful applications that the¬†Google Play Store¬†eliminated after detecting that they contained the¬†‘Joker’ virus¬†are:

  • Auxiliary Message
  • Element Scanner
  • Fast Magic SMS
  • Free CamScanner
  • Go Messages
  • Super Message
  • Super SMS
  • Travel Wallpapers

But there is a warning that more apps are affected and, therefore, millions of users who do not know that they are already victims of this cyber fraud.

Zscaler cited and made public the names of 16 other apps that, according to their analysis, also contain this malicious code:

  • Private SMS
  • Hummingbird PDF Converter – Photo to PDF
  • Style Photo Collage
  • Talent Photo Editor – Blur focus
  • Paper Doc Scanner
  • All Good PDF Scanner
  • Care Message
  • Part Message
  • Blue Scanner
  • Direct Messenger
  • One Sentence Translator – Multifunctional Translator
  • Mint Leaf Message-Your Private Message
  • Unique Keyboard – Fancy Fonts & Free Emoticons
  • Tangram App Lock
  • Desire Translate
  • Meticulous Scanner

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