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The Joker- A Global Menace on Android OS

Although Google has been implementing various restrictions and strict measures for the App developers to upload and market their apps on Play Store, yet, there are various developers who are creating malicious applications and releasing it on Google Play Store platform on regular intervals.

There have been numerous cases of malware and viruses from Play Store apps, and most recently, the Trojan named as the Joker came into the international foray. Named after the iconic villain from the Batman series, the Joker has infected more than 37 countries and has been reportedly found among 24 apps on the Android platform. Most of these apps were still downloadable from the Google Play Store, but, most recently, Google has taken notice of it and removed all these apps from the Google Play Store market with immediate effect.

List of apps removed from the Google Play Store

However, it was too late as various magazines have commented that the Android apps which contained the Joker virus have already been downloaded more than half a million times; but the number of devices which have been affected by it is still unclear. Following is the list of the Android apps which has been released by Google and are suspected of having contained and circulated the Joker virus:

So, if you happen to use any of these above-mentioned applications on your Android smartphones, it would be a wise step to uninstall it immediately and delete any kind of the remaining files from your handset.

So, now that you know about the source of the Joker virus let us discuss about its motive.

Initially identified by a security researcher named Aleksejs Kuprins, the Joker virus was designed to infiltrate the system of an Android Smartphone and copy all the details of an individual’s premium subscriptions. Frankly speaking, this virus simulates the entire process which a person goes through to register or buy a premium subscription on an app.

So, once the virus gets into the system, it functions in the background of these Android apps mentioned above and secretly clicks on all the advertisements which pop out during the entire running time of the particular app. It copies the entire procedure of signing up and then collects all the details of the SMSesor emails which contain the authorization codes or One Time Passwords to make the required amount of payment for the premium subscriptions.

According to Kuprins, the Joker virus has already affected Android users in about 37 nations, which include the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and most of the European as well as the Asian countries.

Although a list of 24 applications has already been released, yet, researchers fear that the list of such infected apps may go on. Kuprins have also stated that most of these infected apps are already being removed by Google’s technical team and it is highly improbable that such malware will be released again.

What should be your action to safeguard from the Joker?

Last but not least, it will be a wise decision on your part to check all your previous transactions if you have ever installed any of the above-mentioned applications from the Google play store. It would also be beneficial if you keep a strict eye on all your transaction records if you have any premium subscription for any apps from the Google Play Store.

Rohit Srivastava
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