Joker Malware Compromised Over 500K Devices After Downloads from Huawei App Store
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Android devices that downloaded certain apps from the official Huawei app store were infected with Joker malware. In total, ten apps in the official Huawei App Store were actually Joker malware.
Malware infected apps were downloaded by 538,000 Huawei app store users.
Joker malware only attacks Android devices. It’s a Trojan malware meaning it downloads other apps once it compromises a device.
The malware infected apps included four keyboard apps, a camera app, a launcher, an online messenger, a sticker collection, coloring apps, and a game.
ALSO READ Joker Malware Targeting Android Users
Joker Malware Hides in Plain Sight
Joker malware is frequently hidden in games, puzzles, wallpaper, or other entertaining apps. It lures the user into downloading it by masquerading as another legitimate app. After installation, it quickly begins to download other malicious programs which spend your money or steal login credentials.
After the malware infected the Huawei users, it subscribed them to five premium services.
Joker malware is also capable of intercepting SMS text notifications. That way if the premium service sent a two-factor authentication (2FA) code, the device owner was unaware of it.
“Most of them came from one developer (Shanxi Kuailaipai Network Technology Co., Ltd.) and two from a different one,’ says cyber security researchers at Doctor Web who discovered the compromised apps.
Google Play Infected Apps
Huawei is not alone in its battle to keep its app store clean. In October last year, more than 60 apps were removed from the Google Play store. They were also found to be infected with Joker malware and had been downloaded over 120,000 times.
In this security incident, the apps were disguised as business utilities like contact managers and PDF scanners.
How to Protect Against Malware
- Always review the permissions and access any new app or software requests. Block permissions if the requests seem strange.
- Never agree to give an app more access than seems reasonable to carry out its tasks. For example, there is no reason for a calorie tracker app to have access to all of your contacts or messages.
- Use a reliable antivirus subscription app to protect your device from malware and harmful websites
- Always download apps, software, and operating system updates from official sources. Although the Huawei App Store is definitely an official and usually trustworthy source for updates and software, some of the apps in the app store were compromised.
- Use a quality antivirus app that screens downloads and filters messages for spam. An antivirus app can help protect your device from malware and phishing messages that attempt to steal your money.
- Never download an app outside of an official app store. Although it is no guarantee, app stores do have security measures in place that do eventually root out malware attacks.
Infected app names
- Super Keyboard
- Happy Colour
- Fun Color
- New 2021 Keyboard
- Camera MX – Photo Video Camera
- BeautyPlus Camera
- Color RollingIcon
- Funney Meme Emoji
- Happy Tapping
- All-in-One Messenger