A new type of malware targeting Android smartphones has been discovered in 24 apps which have since been removed from the Google Play Store.
Security researcher Aleksejs Kuprins discovered the malicious software, which has been named “The Joker” after the Batman villain.
The Joker has reportedly been downloaded at least half a million times through a number of malicious applications.
Once installed, the software secretly signs up the victim to various premium services by silently clicking on advertisements within the app and using SMS verification codes to verify subscription payments.
Kuprins noted that Google has been removing these applications without prompting from security researchers, but it is possible that there are still apps infected with the Joker available for download on the Play Store.