New Delhi | Jagran Technology Desk: The Google on Monday announced that it has decided to remove 17 'malicious' apps from Play Store that were infected by the 'Joker malware', which is also known as the 'Bread malware'. In a statement, the tech giant said that the decision has been taken because these 17 apps had gained "unauthorised access to users' data" and were a threat to users' privacy and security.

"This spyware is designed to steal SMS messages, contact lists, and device information, along with silently signing up the victim for premium wireless application protocol (WAP) services," Zscaler security researcher Viral Gandhi said in a blog post, adding that "there were still a total of around 120,000 downloads for the identified malicious apps".

While these apps have been removed from the Play Store, those users who have already downloaded these 17 apps will have to delete them, the company noted.

Here is the complete list of 'malicious' apps infected by the 'Joker malware' that have removed from Play Store by the Google:

1. All Good PDF Scanner

2. Direct Messenger

3. Mint Leaf Message-Your Private Message

4. Tangram App Lock

5. Unique Keyboard - Fancy Fonts & Free Emoticons

6. Private SMS

7. Style Photo Collage

8. One Sentence Translator - Multifunctional Translator

9. Meticulous Scanner

10. Care Message

11. Desire Translate

12. Talent Photo Editor - Blur focus

13. Part Message

14. Paper Doc Scanner

15. Blue Scanner

16. Hummingbird PDF Converter - Photo to PDF

17. All Good PDF Scanner

This is not the first time when the Google has removed apps from its Play Store over security and privacy concerns. In July this year, the tech giant had removed 29 apps consisting of adware from the Android app store. The Google had said that these apps were carrying adware and they used to disappear from the app drawer if a user installed them, which forced the tech giant to remove them from the Play Store. 

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma