A popular smartphone virus known as the Joker family or “Bread” that subscribes Android users to premium services without their consent keeps appearing in the Google Play app store.
First, Joker identifies victims’ locations and phone numbers. Then, it identifies premium services available near the users’ locations. Next, the malware subscribes to a service using victims’ phone numbers.
When the service sends a verification code text message to the users’ phone numbers, Joker has the ability to hide that verification message from the victims and inserts the required code. Meanwhile, Joker remains hidden on users’ devices.
The only way to unsubscribe to these premium services is to notice unrecognizable charges and manually cancel the subscriptions.
Google said it has “stopped over 790,000 policy-violating app submissions before they were ever published to the Play Store”.