Google removed 17 Android apps from Google Play because they were infected with Joker (Bread) malware. According to Zscaler security researcher Viral Gandhi, the malware steals SMS messages, contact lists, and device information and secretly signs up the victim for premium wireless application protocol (WAP) services.
- Google used Play Protect to disable the apps on infected devices, but users will still need to remove the apps manually from their devices.
- Zscaler recommended that Android users watch out for risky app permissions related to SMS, call logs, and contacts when downloading apps.
- In early September, Google removed six Joker-infected Android apps that had a combined 200,000 downloads.