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How The Dangerous Joker Bot is Infecting Apps and Charging Extra Money

Another day, another cyber threat that many of us should be aware of. That’s how things go in the virtual world, and there’s no such thing as total security. One recent proof comes from the security firm Pradeo, as it uncovered the fact that six apps were assuring major extra costs for their users.

The apps in question are labeled as “fleeceware”, which means that users were hooked into signing up to unwanted premium-rate services.

Beware of the Joker

Just like in the insanely-popular Batman movies, Joker is once again ready to jeopardize the lives of the innocent. But this time, Joker goes high-tech. Also, Joker in this case is the name of the bot causing the infection of the pesky apps that were together installed for a number of 200,000 times. These apps included SMS services, wallpapers, security apps, scanners, and even games platforms.

Roxanne Suau from Pradeo explains how Joker operates:

Joker is a malicious bot (categorized as Fleeceware) which main activity is to simulate clicks and intercept SMS to subscribe to unwanted paid premium services unbeknownst to users,

By using as little code as possible and thoroughly hiding it, Joker generates a very discreet footprint that can be tricky to detect.

The apps infected

The infected apps are: Convenient Scanner 2 (100,000 installs), Separate Doc Scanner (50,000 installs), Safety AppLock (10,000 installs), Push Message-Texting & SMS (10,000 installs), Emoji Wallpaper (10,000 installs) and Fingertip GameBox (1,000 installs).

Thankfully, Pradeo informs us that all of the infected apps are no longer available within the Google Play Store. But keeping them into your phone if you’ve installed them is highly risky, and deleting them ASAP is a ‘must’. As for staying safe in the virtual realm, the best way of doing so is by not installing new software. Your own critical and rational thinking is the real deal.

About Cristian Antonescu

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Cristian is passionate about technology in all its areas, especially web development and gaming.

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