Although a full list is yet to be disclosed, the applications were a mix of utilities including messaging, image-compression and file recovery apps.

Speaking about the new threat, Aviran Hazum, Manager of Mobile Research for Check Point said: “Joker adapted. We found it hiding in the “essential information” file every Android application is required to have.

“Our latest findings indicate that Google Play Store protections are not enough. We were able to detect numerous cases of Joker uploads on a weekly basis to Google Play, all of which were downloaded by unsuspecting users. The Joker malware is tricky to detect, despite Google’s investment in adding Play Store protections. Although Google removed the malicious apps from the Play Store, we can fully expect Joker to adapt again. Everyone should take the time to understand what Joker is and how it can affect them.”