Of late, Android as a platform has been on the receiving end of criticism for hosting one too many apps that are infected with malicious software either right from the time they appear on Play Store or through updates to the app. Google has increased security and the vetting process of apps before letting them in the Play Store, but the problem still persists.

An independent cybersecurity research firm, CSIS, has flagged 24 apps in the Play Store that had been infected with a Trojan called "Joker." The infected apps are quite popular among users as they collectively command 472,000 installs, and that's a huge number.

What Trojan Joker does?

It is one thing that apps are infected with a Trojan and a whole another story on what the infection can lead to. In the case of Joker Trojan, users must certainly be considerate about continuing to use the infected apps as security experts at CSIS have warned against it.

malware attacks
24 Android apps infected with Joker trojanCreative Commons

Android apps infected by the Joker carry out illicit activities, such as simulation of ad clicks, authorisation of premium subscriptions, read all SMSes, steal device information and contact information of the owner without permission. These are reasons enough to uninstall the apps.

Researchers have also identified that the Trojan is targeting users in 37 countries, but all the biggest smartphone markets are already in the red zone. They include China, India, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Argentina, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.

RAMpage vulnerability attacks android devices
Beware of these Android apps on your phoneCreative Commons

There's no clear proof of who is behind the attack, but the bot's code comments and command and control server panel have Chinese transcripts, which suggest the origin of the attack to be in China. Worst of all, the Joker Trojan is extremely stealth and leads to battery drain, financial loss and more.

Google has removed the infected apps from Play Store, it's time you do the same from your phones.

What are the Joker-infected apps?

Here's the complete list of Android apps infected by Joker:

  • Beach Camera 4.2
  • Mini Camera 1.0.2
  • Certain Wallpaper 1.02
  • Reward Clean 1.1.6
  • Age Face 1.1.2
  • Altar Message 1.5
  • Soby Camera 1.0.1
  • Declare Message 10.02
  • Display Camera 1.02
  • Rapid Face Scanner 10.02
  • Leaf Face Scanner 1.0.3
  • Board Picture editing 1.1.2
  • Cute Camera 1.04
  • Dazzle Wallpaper 1.0.1
  • Spark Wallpaper 1.1.11
  • Climate SMS 3.5
  • Great VPN 2.0
  • Humour Camera 1.1.5
  • Print Plant scan
  • Advocate Wallpaper 1.1.9
  • Ruddy SMS Mod
  • Ignite Clean 7.3
  • Antivirus Security - Security Scan, App Lock
  • Collate Face Scanner