During the second week of July and September, Google removed 17 apps from the Play Store. These apps were malware-infected. In July, the tech giant has banned 11 while 6 apps from the Play Store a few days ago. Now, these 17 apps are not available on Google and they cannot be downloaded.
The 17 apps that were removed from the Play Store were all affected by a new variant of malware called Joker. Researchers at Check Point detected these malware apps in July. According to reports, Google has been tracking these apps since 2017.
After these 11 apps were removed from the Play Store, Joker malware came in the form of 6 other apps on the Google Play Store in a new form. Now, these 6 apps are also removed. According to cybersecurity firm Pradeo, these 6 apps have been downloaded nearly 2 million times before they were removed from the Play Store.
The apps which are removed are:-
com.imagecompress.android, com.contact.withme.texts, com.hmvoice.friendsms,
Convenient Scanner 2,
Push Message- Texting & SMS,
Separate Doc Scanner,
These 17 apps are no longer available on the Play Store. And if any of these apps is present in your smartphone, then delete it immediately.
The Joker malware that infects these apps is a malicious bot that has been categorized as fleeceware. The main function of this malware is to collect clicks and intercept SMS so that users can be subscribed to paid premium services without their knowledge. The Joker uses little code and it leaves no mark, making it difficult to detect.