“Joker” Malware Silently Signs Up Android Users for Monthly App Subscriptions

“Joker” Malware Silently Signs Up Android Users for Monthly App Subscriptions

joker malware effects android users
Google has had some problems with their Play Store. That is, malicious apps (some worse than others, of course). Needless to say, they’re aware of it.  Just last month, they decided to lengthen the app approval time from one day to three days. This should allow Google more time to spot malicious apps before they can make their way to users’ phones. However, something is always going to go wrong at some point. Tech is just like that. The recent “Joker” Android malware that was discovered early this month is a good example.

What Exactly Is the “Joker” Android Malware?

“Joker” is a malware that silently resides within 24 Android apps, which haven’t been available to download for some time now (due to Joker being discovered). These apps appeared entirely normal on the surface, but were created with malicious intent. The apps in question were downloaded and installed more than 472,000 times, in 37 different countries. However, even more people could have been affected. We can thank security researcher Aleksejs Kuprins for discovering the malware.

How Does Joker Work?

This malware works by silently signing up victims to premium app subscriptions. Joker is able to automate the entire app subscription signup process. Since it has access to your phone, it’s able to access the authorization code (sent by SMS messages) that’s used to verify subscription payments. What is interesting is that the hacker(s) went through the trouble of creating 24 apps to spread their malware. Although, when you look at the names of the apps, it’s evident that they were mostly re-skinning their apps at the surface level.

Full List of Joker Apps 

Here’s the full list of the apps in question. Make sure you don’t have them on your device. If you did, make sure to watch your account activity for strange subscription payments.
  • Advocate Wallpaper
  • Age Face
  • Altar Message
  • Antivirus Security – Security Scan
  • Beach Camera
  • Board picture editing
  • Certain Wallpaper
  • Climate SMS
  • Collate Face Scanner
  • Cute Camera
  • Dazzle Wallpaper
  • Declare Message
  • Display Camera
  • Great VPN
  • Humour Camera
  • Ignite Clean
  • Leaf Face Scanner
  • Mini Camera
  • Print Plant scan
  • Rapid Face Scanner
  • Reward Clean
  • Ruddy SMS
  • Soby Camera 
  • Spark Wallpaper