Android is Google’s mobile operating system that is harnessed by over 2.5 billion devices across the globe.
Most Android products come with the Google Play Store installed – a hub that allows fans to download a deluge of third-party apps.
While most of these programmes are harmless, some can be have an adverse effect on devices.
CSIS Security Group recently published a report discussing 24 apps from the Google Play Store it claimed were filled with a particular malware called “the Joker”.
These programmes were said to have been installed over 472,000 times.
Essentially, it was noted malicious code was designed to secure money from targeted users.
It was detailed the malware could perform silent clicks on particular advertisements and sign-up to a particular service by accessing a user’s SMS messages to obtain a required authorisation code.
This, it was declared, could allow the malicious code to make users pay for certain subscriptions.
The author of the post, security researcher Aleksejs Kuprins, said the trojan had the capabilities to affect individuals in 37 countries – these included the UK, US, Australia, Germany and more.
The 24 apps in question were noted as being:
• 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
The apps listed above have all been removed from the Play Store by Google.
Users that have download the programmes in question are advised to uninstall them immediately and check their transaction history for any suspicious payments.
It is unclear if the Joker malware is present in any further Play Store apps.