Joker Malware Containing App Downloaded Half Million Times from Google Play Store

Mobile security research firm Pradeo has discovered the infamous Joker malware in an Android app named Color Message. This highly dangerous app has over 500,000 downloads. As for the Joker malware, it is assumed that it has been active for at least two years. Pradeo reports that the Joker malware is categorized as a Fleeceware. The main activity of this malware is to simulate clicks and intercept SMS in order to subscribe to unwanted premium paid services without the knowledge of the user.

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Bank Credentials Stealing Apps Were Reportedly Downloaded 300,000 Times on Google Play Store

According to reports published by ThreatFabric, android apps on Google Play Store which stole banking details had more than 300,000 downloads by unsuspecting users. These seemingly harmless apps masqueraded as QR scanners, cryptocurrency wallets, and PDF scanners, and maliciously stole sensitive financial data. User details like passwords, two-factor authentication codes, users’ logged keystrokes, and much more ended up getting stolen by these apps which mainly fall under four families of malware, namely Anatsa, Alien, Hydra, and Ermac. Google has been trying to combat this issue with their introduction of a number of restrictions which are aimed at curbing the distribution of such apps. This, in turn, has prompted the development of ingenious methods of bypassing Google Play Store security restrictions by the minds behind these malwares.

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Google Play Store Might Get New “Offers” Tab Update

In October, Google had introduced a redesigned Material You update to its Play Store that was fairly uncomplicated in that it was confined to the home screen only. It now appears that Google is adding a new feature – an “Offers” tab – to the Play Store, although at the risk of making the bottom bar too cluttered. The bottom bar of the Play Store stores four tabs for most accounts, which extends to five tabs for those accounts that are subscribed to Play Pass. However, with the addition of the new “Offers” tab, which would slot between “Movies & TV” and “Apps”, five tabs could soon become the standard for all users. Unfortunately, the addition causes the tabs to get truncated quiet badly.

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2 Smart TV Apps Containing Joker Malware Banned from Google Play Store

To uphold its commitment to keep its app store safe, Google regularly removes malicious and dangerous apps from the Google Play Store, scouting them out either themselves or with the help of tips from security companies. Google’s proactiveness in this matter ensures, to a large extent, that its users are protected from online scammers. The most recent example of this is Google’s banning of two new apps from its Play Store, namely ‘Halloween Coloring’ and ‘Smart TV remote’, both of which are smart TV based. It is worth noting here that ‘Smart TV remote’ had already been downloaded a thousand times at the time of its removal. It is thanks to Tatyana Shishkova, a security analyst at Kaspersky’s who had posted the names of the two apps on Twitter, that Google learned of the two malwares lurking about its Play Store. According to Shishkova, the apps are Joker malwares that have been Trojanised.

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Bolo Indya App Removed From Google Play Store

T-Series lodged a complaint against Google’s social media app Bolo Indya following which it was removed from Play Store.

Super Cassettes Industries Pvt Ltd, which functions under the brand name T-Series, had sent an infringement notice to social media and video sharing platforms almost a year back. It was said in the notice that they have to pay around Rs. 3.5 crore for the damages due to using its copyrighted content.

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No More Spam Apps Will Fill The Google Play Store

The App Store is filled with spam Apps, Apps having the same name, and also Apps with emojis in their names. At the time, there are many clone Apps of popular apps. This confuses the Android users when they go to download an App and they come across the clone ones, thus making it difficult for them to understand which the real one is. Now, Google Play Store has decided to bring some changes to its naming policy to stop all these, and these changes will be functioning in the second half of 2021, the company said.

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