Science & Tech

Joker virus: Smartphone users urged to delete these 8 apps

Joker virus: Smartphone users urged to delete these 8 apps

Smartphone users are urged to delete eight apps that may be infected by the Joker virus.

Google Play has removed the apps from the Play Store, but Android users are urged to also delete the apps from their phones.

The Trojan spyware virus can hack information such as your contacts and text messages, and sign you up for websites offering paid services according to cybersecurity company Quick Heal Security Lab.

The affected apps are:

  • Auxiliary Message
  • Element Scanner
  • Fast Magic SMS
  • Free CamScanner
  • Go Messages
  • Super Message
  • Great SMS
  • Travel Wallpapers

In a statement, Belgian police urged the public to remove the apps and said: “Warning: The Joker virus is back in the Android environment.

“You risk a big surprise at the end of the month on your bank account or your credit card.”

The virus was first detected in 2017 and since then, Google Play has removed 1,700 apps infected by the malware.

It resurfaced in 2020 when the virus was detected on 24 apps on the Play Store - but not before these apps were downloaded 500,000 times, according to Entrepreneur.

Quick Heal Security Lab said smartphone users can stay safe by only downloading apps from trusted sources, and urged people to be wary of clicking on links received in messages.

Malicious apps may spoof legitimate ones, but often grammatical mistakes or typos can give them away.

For peace of mind, you could also download trusted antivirus software.

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