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Over 500,000 downloads: Dangerous malware found in Android app

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All kinds of information are stored on our smartphones. Time and again, criminals try to gain access to this data by hiding Trojans in emails or apps - in the case of the app "Color Message". It served as a host for the Joker virus, which steals data from your smartphone and uses it to gain premium access to other apps, giving you a rude awakening when your next mobile phone bill arrives.


  • "Color Message" app harbors a dangerous malware.
  • The Joker virus unknowingly signs you up for premium services and steals your personal data.
  • The app has already been removed from the Google Play Store.

On smartphones, viruses like to disguise themselves as a new app in order to get onto your device. This is especially true for Trojans that want to steal your data or sign you up for premium services. The Joker virus is one such malware and, according to an analysis by Pradeo, has now appeared in the app "Color Message". The app promises additional sticker sets and analytics for your messages - but it steals a lot of your data afterwards.

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The app has since disappeared from the app store, but you'll still have to uninstall it yourself if you downloaded it. The problem with such apps is that the Google Play Store can't check every app thoroughly to avoid such viruses. So there are always difficulties and there is no real protection. In the case of "Color Message", there have already been over 500,000 downloads.

Joker Malware Color Message
The app "Color Message" contains a virus! You should uninstall it as soon as possible / © Pradeo

What is the Joker malware?

Malware is malicious software that infiltrates your device and tries to get your data. Joker malware is much the same. The virus has been around since circa 2017 and has been home to quite a few apps. The malware causes damage by simulating clicks and logging you into premium services. This causes your mobile phone bill to skyrocket, and you can only hope for the good will of the app operators to reimburse you.

One of the biggest concerns is that the malware leaves hardly any traces. It is therefore almost impossible to trace where your data goes. In the case of "Color Message", however, it was discovered that the data had been transferred to a Russian server. Fortunately, Google reacts relatively quickly in such cases and immediately removes dubious apps from the App Store.

Have you ever encountered malware? How do you protect your smartphone from malware? Let us know!

Source: Pradeo

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Dustin Porth

Dustin Porth
Working student

I started my studies to become a technology journalist in 2019. Besides writing a few articles for our student newspaper and for the university magazine "technikjournal", I also wrote IT articles for a blog and then joined tvfindr. There I learned to love writing reviews. I am a passionate gamer myself and am interested in everything that has even slightly to do with technology.

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