Google removes 50 apps that steal your personal data

Google has removed 50 dangerous applications that steal personal data and intercept text messages on Android phones from its Google Play store.

The US company explained that the dangerous threats were discovered by the security team at Zscaler, who discovered that they contained bad malware, including the terrifying Joker bug.

Once installed, Joker has the ability to install hidden spyware and premium dialers on devices, which can then enroll unsuspecting users into expensive monthly subscription plans.

Besides Joker, these applications also contained other risks including infection with the Coper malware that could intercept and send SMS messages, unlock the device's screen, prevent uninstalls and allow attackers to take control and execute commands.

Another threat was found within the apps, the Facestealer malware, which is known to target Facebook users, with fake login screens in an attempt to steal usernames and passwords.

In turn, Zscaler said: “The Google Play Store is usually one of the safest sources for users to find and install Android apps, yet the actors continue to evolve their tactics and are able to download dangerous apps associated with malware.

The Zscaler ThreatLabz team recently discovered applications that include multiple instances of the Joker, Facetealer and Coper malware spreading in the virtual market. The ThreatLabz team immediately notified the Google Android Security team of these newly identified threats."

Security experts advise caution before downloading any application unless it is from a known and trusted source.


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