Android app found to exfiltrate users’ contact list

To make it difficult to remove, the app has the option to hide its icon once installed.

According to cybersecurity firm Pradeo, an app on Google Play with more than 5 lakh installs sent users’ contacts to an attacker-controlled server that appears to be located in Russia.

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“A mobile app called Color Message infected with Joker malware is currently available for download on Google Play and has been installed by over half a million users,” security firm Pradeo said in a blog post.

“Our analysis of the Color Message application through the Pradeo Security engine shows that it accesses the users’ contact list and exfiltrates it on the network.”

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Joker is classified in the polar category. Its main activity is to simulate clicks and intercept SMS to subscribe users to unwanted and unknown paid premium services. To make it difficult to remove, the app has the option to hide its icon once installed. Over the past two years, the malware has been found hidden in hundreds of apps, Pradeo said.

The app’s terms and conditions are hosted on an unbranded one-page blog and do not disclose the scope of actions the app can perform on users’ devices.

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The security company advised users to remove the app from their devices immediately to avoid fraudulent activities.

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