HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — There’s a new warning about spyware that has been found hiding in 24 apps in the Google Play Store for Android devices. Those apps were downloaded 472,000 worldwide.
“Joker” — as the malware has been called — was first noticed in June 2019.
When it infects a user’s device, it is able to access SMS messages, contact lists and device information.
In addition to privacy concerns on the device, Joker is known to also silently set a user up with subscription services or premium paid access to websites and apps.
Software developer Aleksejs Kuprins analyzed “Joker” and how it captures user data in a Medium blog post. Kuprins makes note that most of the infected apps, in 37 countries worldwide, affected devices in EU and Asian countries.
The 24 apps that had the malware have since been removed by Google from its Android Play Store.