These apps for reading QR codes, wallpapers, camera plug-ins and more could have malware

These apps for reading QR codes, wallpapers, camera plug-ins and more could have malware
Malware Joker steals passwords from banking apps on Android.  (photo: Five Days)
Malware Joker steals passwords from banking apps on Android. (photo: Five Days)

The cybersecurity company ESET has identified in several applications that are available on Google Play a malware known as Joker, which could infect the devices of those who have downloaded them.

This type of malware is also known as bread and both its creators and the cyber attackers that work with it have managed to evade the security systems of the Google application store and introduce them into supposedly very useful mobile services for users, so the threat is directly targeted to Android devices.

This computer virus belongs to the group of spyware that operate by intercepting the text messages of the devices that were infected in order to silently subscribe to premium services, that is, without the owners of the cell phones noticing, in addition to generating invasive, annoying and unwanted advertisements .

Between April and June of this year, several applications containing this Trojan were reported, so they were immediately removed from the Google store. One of these supposed applications that registered several downloads is PDF Reader Scanner.

However, before this application was removed or removed from Google Play, it was downloaded about 5,000 times around the world, including Latin America.

And although this report dates from the period between April and June, during 2022 applications have been registered in the Play Store that could contain this type of malware, reporting more than 10,000 downloads. Likewise, on Twitter, users have found dozens of similar applications that put the cell phones of all Google and Android users at risk.

It should be clarified that cyberattackers have managed to breach the security barriers of the Play Store because they have been creating new techniques for their malicious campaigns to be effective, according to ESET.

These are the applications with viruses that were detected by the cybersecurity company during June:

All QRCode Scanner

PDF Scanner Reader

Wow Translator

Rainy Day Wallpaper

Neon Live Wallpaper

Plenty Emoji Messages

Cute Photo Editor

All Wallpaper SMS

All Photo Translator

Smart CMM Launcher


Cool Messages

Sketch Photo Editor

Blood Sugar Log


Create Photo Stickers

Shining Live Wallpaper

Toy Blast Star-Falcon

RGB Emoji Keyboard

Camera Translator Pr

Among the functions of these applications is reading QR codes, opening PDF documents, accessing wallpaper banks, downloading emojis or stickers and also adding functions to cell phone cameras.

These applications were the perfect hiding place for computer viruses, since they fulfilled the promised functions and thus silently accessed the user’s messages and contacts.

However, the greatest risk to users was financial in nature, as these spyware could inadvertently lure users into subscribing to web services and steal important data such as passwords and company account numbers. banking apps.

In any case, this type of cybercrime is not new, since in 2020 Google notified that it removed 1,700 applications from the Play Store that included this type of crime. malware. In turn, in 2021 these same computer viruses were registered in applications to download wallpapers and content alluding to the series The Squid Game from Netflix.

Given that computer dangers are more present than ever in people’s lives, it is recommended to pay special attention to the access requested by applications that have just been downloaded, since if they are malicious, they could be requesting unnecessary permissions.

Camilo Gutiérrez Amaya, head of the ESET Research Laboratory in Latin America, indicates that, “In addition to avoiding downloading applications from unknown repositories, it is important to review the comments and see the evaluations that other users have made about the performance of the app, as well as the number of downloads, read who is the developer of the app we want to download, etc.”