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Google Finally Removes 8 Android Apps Spreading the Joker Spyware

download – 2022-07-21T131334.656
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While Android can lack security, Google works hard to ensure the platform is safe for users. Google often points out that compromised security on Android is because of OEMs changing the OS for their own devices. Maybe, but Android also faces security risks from apps because of the open nature of the platform.

Google often cleans house to ensure nefarious apps stay off the Google Play Store. Even so, some apps slip through the net and cause damage. For example, eight apps that Google has now removed, but not before were already downloaded a total of 3 million times.

According to security researcher Maxime Ingrao of cybersecurity firm Evina, a new variant of the Joker spyware was spread through the eight offending apps. Known as Autolycus, the malware will automatically subscribe users to a spyware service as well as gain access to their SMS messages.

By automatically signing users up for a premium service, people can be paying for something without knowing about it. Known as fleece, this type of attack is dangerous for customers who integrate their payments on Android.

Offending Apps

According to Ingrao, the 8 apps use the Joker variant Autolycus and have already been downloaded millions of times since arriving on the Google Play Store in June 2021. Yes, the apps have been up for over a year.

The eight apps in which Ingrao found Autolycus are:

  • Vlog Star Video Editor (com.vlog.star.video.editor) – 1 million downloads
  • Creative 3D Launcher (app.launcher.creative3d) – 1 million downloads
  • Wow Beauty Camera (com.wow beauty.camera) – 100,000 downloads
  • Gif Emoji Keyboard (com.gif.emoji.keyboard) – 100,000 downloads
  • Freeflow Camera 1.0.0 (com.glow.camera.open) – 5,000 downloads
  • Coco Camera v1.1 (com.too more.cool.camera) –  1,000 downloads
  • Funny Camera by KellyTech –  500,000 downloads
  • Razer Keyboard & Theme by rxcheldiolola – 50,000 downloads.

It is worth noting that Ingrao found these apps back in July 2021 and promptly told Google. However, the company took six months to remove six of them, with the last two getting taken down on July 13, 2022.

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Source  Winbuzzer

Juliana Luwoye

The author Juliana Luwoye

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