Smartphone Police and cybersecurity experts have issued an instant warning to users of eight popular apps that could infect their phones with dangerous viruses.
However, Android users may still be at risk and are being asked to delete them from their devices.
The malware was first identified in 2019, and it has the potential to wreak havoc on the phones that infect it.
Malware has been found installing hidden spyware and premium dialers that can sign up for expensive monthly subscriptions.
Previous victims have been found to have received more than £ 240 a year in fraudulent schemes.
Security firm Zamprem says it has seen more than a thousand new samples of the Joker since it last reported the problem in 2020.
Researchers at the cyber security company QuickHale Security Lab have also revealed that the latest Joker virus can access text messages, contacts and many other personal information on smartphones.
8 applications you want to delete?
- Support message.
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- Fast magic SMS.
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- Go to messages.
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- Great sms.
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Warning from police and security experts
In a warning, Belgian police said: “Warning! The Joker virus has returned to the Android environment.
“This malware has been seen in 8 apps from the Play Store which Google has withdrawn in the meantime, but if you have already installed it, remove it as soon as possible.”
Security firm Zempreim warns that cyber thieves are regularly finding new and unique ways to bring this malware to official and unofficial app stores.
“Joker Trojans are malicious Android applications that have been known to commit notorious bill fraud since 2017 and allow users to subscribe to premium services.”
“The result of a successful mobile infection is financial gain for the cyber criminal, often under the victim’s nose until the money runs out, with no way to recover.”