Sophisticated 'Joker' malware targets Android devices

A sophisticated new type of malware dubbed 'the Joker' after the Batman villain has been found to be targeting Google's Android devices.

Researchers found the malware coded within 24 popular apps available on the Google Play store, meaning hundreds of thousands of people may have downloaded them and unwittingly opened themselves up to fraud.

The Joker is particularly noteworthy because of its level of sophistication. Once deployed, it is able to sign victims up to subscription services without their knowledge, even entering offer information and confirmation codes as if it were a real person.

Victims not only had money stolen from them, but were also likely to have their contact list compromised.

Malware analyst Aleksejs Kuprins from CSIS Security Group, who discovered the Joker, said it could date back as far as June and, although all affected apps have now been removed, may have affected 472,000 downloads.

The news comes after researchers working for Google said earlier this year they had found preinstalled malware on 7.4 million Android devices over three years.

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