Messenger or Joker? Famous Android Malware Hides on Google Play Again.

Android users should be alert when downloading messaging apps from Google Play these days. New instances of well-known Joker malware started popping up on the official app marketplace, affecting thousands of end-users.

Joker malware occurred on the Google Play Store before. However, during the third week of August, we detected an excessive number of Joker malware apps pretending to be messenger apps. Just to name a few: Speedy Messenger, Nostalgia Message, Colorful Message, Obstruct SMS, Global Messenger, Appeal To SMS, Light SMS, Precious SMS, and many more.

Google already removed all the problematic apps from Google Play. However, our malware specialists confirmed that high hundreds of people are still affected by these new Joker incarnations.

Joker malware, first seen in 2017, is a form of spyware and premium dialer. It subscribes its victims to premium services, or reads and sends SMS messages without the users even noticing. Recently it was able to overcome the Google Play Store’s security check and compromise the Android device users’ security. Looking like a legitimate app, it tricked hundreds of end-users into installing itself. Many of the affected users remained exposed to the danger long after Google pulled the plug on new malware installations.

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