The Joker Malware Has Started Making Its Rounds Across The Google Play Store Apps, Threatening Users With Data Siphoning

The rather infamous Joker malware has again been spotted across Google Play applications, invading mobile devices and stealing valuable information.

The Joker malware, named with some hint of irony after the eponymous villain of The Dark Knight, was first spotted across Google Play last year, in 2020. The app store, as it turned out, had a few Trojans posing as normal applications that then managed to invade the phones of thousands of users. The malware stole important personal information such as contact lists, device statistics, and other miscellaneous information. The miscellaneous information varied depending on the data that users had on their phones which, in this day and age, is more or less everything personal. However, Google Play managed to track down the Trojans (with help from cybersecurity firms that pointed them out first), and then take them off of the platform. However, it seems that, much like the Joker’s multiple on-screen iterations, the malware is intent on showing up again and again.

This time, Joker was identified by cybersecurity analyst at Kaspersky, Tatyana Shishkova. Her findings were posted onto Twitter, with Shishkova detailing not only the applications acting as Trojans, but how many downloads they had undergone. The answer to the latter was, luckily, not all too many. Shishkova’s Twitter post reveals that, of the three apps she exposed, all of them had downloads closer to ten than, say, 50,000. However, even a few downloads in the hands of the right unaware individual can lead to malware spreading like a virus. Almost immediately, an analogy can be drawn to the COVID-19 pandemic and its rather similar incidence and genesis. At any rate, there are some applications that need to be very vigilantly avoided, in case your phone gets invaded by something that shouldn’t be there.

Of course, the first step that everyone takes towards cybersecurity should entail investing in a decent firewall. Google Play’s security has been failing us for quite a while now, with Joker having first been spotted in 2017. Why leave your phone’s deepest, darkest secrets up to a platform that can’t even identify bots and Trojans from legitimate applications, right? Next, there’s avoiding applications that come across as suspicious. These can be identified by drawn out names, poorly written or bland description boxes, and/or a low download count. That should honestly cover you for accidentally running into Joker, or any other Trojans carrying a nefarious virus or the other. Finally, don’t open APK files or download links just randomly sent your way. They’re no good.

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