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Joker Malware Marks Another Return to the Play Store, Infects 500K Android Devices

By Ojasvi Nath for Toolbox
Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Joker malware, which first appeared in 2017, recently made its way back to the Google Play Store by hiding inside Color Message, a popular Android app that has enjoyed over 500,000 downloads. The notorious fleeceware is designed to quietly subscribe Android device users to premium online services, warn experts.

Ilia Kolochenko, the founder of ImmuniWeb and a member of Europol Data Protection Experts Network, believes that mobile malware is becoming more sophisticated at successfully bypassing gradual security scans and checks at Google Play. This is the reason why Apple now argues that app sideloading is a gift for cybercriminals.

“Android 11 is a fairly secure mobile OS with security and privacy mechanisms comparable to iOS, however, just a small fraction of mobile users have it installed. Millions of Android users are still using obsolete OS versions susceptible to countless vulnerabilities that enable malware to take full control over the devices. Worse, some mobile devices cannot be updated anymore due to vendor’s restrictions or inaction.

“But even an up-to-date Android is not a panacea, thus users should selectively install mobile apps from trusted vendors and double-check that the application they install is the official one and not a copycat with malware injected inside, simulating a famous brand name. Apps from unofficial stores or Internet websites should never be installed unless the user understands what s/he is doing,” Kolochenko adds. Read Full Article

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