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Date published: 2019-09-10
Originally published: Here. Excerpt below.


The Google Play Store is having a tough time at the moment with malware-filled apps and sketchy developer practices. Google has again removed 24 more malware-heavy apps from the Google Play Store with almost 500,000 downloads as it tackles the problem on its online app marketplace.
We’ve seen numerous developers and applications already ripped from the Play Store after questionable ad practices and sketchy software runs without owner knowledge after being downloaded. This latest crop of apps was found by cybersecurity firm CSIS Security Group (via TNW).
The research shows that the “Joker” malware within these infected apps was able to secretly sign people up to premium subscription services, steal SMS messages, contacts, and even nab key device information such as the serial and IMEI numbers.
This trojan was also able to silently click on ads while simultaneously accessing any verification codes sent via SMS which was used to sign up for these premium subscriptions.
CSIS found 24 Android apps that were littered with the malware. The full list can be found below:
Advocate Wallpaper
Age Face
Altar Message
Antivirus Security Security Scan
Beach Camera
Board picture editing
Certain Wallpaper
Climate SMS
Collate Face Scanner
Cute Camera
Dazzle Wallpaper
Declare Message
Display Camera
Great VPN
Humour Camera
Ignite Clean
Leaf Face Scanner
Mini Camera
Print Plant scan
Rapid Face Scanner
Reward Clean
Ruddy SMS
Soby Camera
Spark Wallpaper
The report also states that the malware-infected apps only attacks those in selected countries. You would have to be using an active SIM from one of 37 nations. The full list of 37 targeted countries is: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Argentina, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine ...


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Google removes 24 more malware-filled apps that amassed 500,000 downloads - 9to5Google https://t.co/RaZzyRpJDx #Google #Play #Store #tech pic.twitter.com/0CFRbE2vRz

— NUS Trivia | tech news (@NusTrivia) September 10, 2019