Google have issued a safety warning after the tech giant discovered 17 'dangerous' apps from its Android Play Store.

The banned applications, which have since been removed, were found to be filled with dangerous ‘joker’ malware.

Users who have downloaded the affected apps have been urged to delete them straight away in order to remove the threat.

What is joker malware?

Joker malware is a virus built into apps that has the ability to steal SMS messages, entire contact lists, and information from a smartphone device.

The malware is also capable of silently signing up victims for premium wireless application protocol (WAP) services.

WAP services can silently buy content from sites without the user’s consent, and leave the victim with a large mobile phone bill.

The offending apps were discovered by the team at Zscaler.

Viral Gandhi from Zsclaer said: "Our Zscaler ThreatLabZ research team has been constantly monitoring the Joker malware.

"Recently, we have seen regular uploads of it onto the Google Play store. Once notified by us, the Google Android Security team took prompt action to remove the suspicious apps from the Google Play store."

Which apps have been banned?

If you have any of these apps on your phone it is important to delete them as soon as possible.

This is the full list of apps removed from the Android Play Store:

  • All Good PDF Scanner
  • Mint Leaf Message-Your Private Message
  • Unique Keyboard - Fancy Fonts & Free Emoticons
  • Tangram App Lock
  • Direct Messenger
  • Private SMS
  • One Sentence Translator - Multifunctional Translator
  • Style Photo Collage
  • Meticulous Scanner
  • Desire Translate
  • Talent Photo Editor - Blur focus
  • Care Message
  • Part Message
  • Paper Doc Scanner
  • Blue Scanner
  • Hummingbird PDF Converter - Photo to PDF