Malware Joker: Google blocks 11 apps from Play Store

After being fined 4.3 billion euros last June for a dominant position in research with its Android mobile operating system, Google has decided to comply by charging for its applications and the Play Store to manufacturers who want to sell their mobile devices in Europe and this without integrating Google Search and Google Chrome. From October 29, Google will implement a fairly complex license system for manufacturers who sell Android-powered mobile devices in Europe and want to install the Play Store and its other applications. (Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)

Researchers at cybersecurity firm Check Point discovered that these 11 seemingly legitimate apps had been corrupted by a new variant of popular malware Joker that first surfaced late last year.

According to them, small changes made in the new variant helped it escape the Play store’s security and vetting barriers.

In pics: Online shopping traps and scams to beware (Slideshow by GoBankingRates)

“Check Point’s researchers recently discovered a new variant of the Joker Dropper and Premium Dialer spyware in Google Play. Hiding in seemingly legitimate applications, we found that this updated version of Joker was able to download additional malware to the device, which subscribes the user to premium services without their knowledge or consent,” Check Point said in its report.

Earlier in 2020, Google had to remove over 1,700 apps from its Playstore due to Joker which is also known as Bred.

“Google Play Protect detected and removed 1.7k unique Bread apps from the Play Store before ever being downloaded by users. Bread apps originally performed SMS fraud, but have largely abandoned this for WAP billing following the introduction of new Play policies restricting use of the SEND_SMS permission and increased coverage by Google Play Protect,” the California based tech giant had said in a blog post.03

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