The Squid Game app on the Play Store was spreading the Joker malware

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After all, Squid Game and Joker malware turn out to be a “deadly combination”.

Netflix’s biggest Squid Game series is a smash hit with over 142 million users watching it worldwide. This dystopian series from Korea harvested approx. $ 900 million against a relatively disappointing production cost of $ 21.4 million.

The craze around Squid Game is surreal, and that’s why cybercriminals are doing their best to exploit its popularity. There are countless Squid Game products, memes, and games available. However, at the same time, several unofficial apps downloaded from Google Play Store distribute malware.

About squid game wallpaper

A Twitter user and security researcher (@ReBensk) discovered an Android app that was actually Joker malware disguised as a Squid Game wallpaper app.

One of the Squid Game malicious apps on the Google Play Store.

It should be noted that the Joker malware is not new, as it has appeared on the Google Play Store several times. The Joker malware can secretly connect unsuspecting users to premium subscription services by displaying a bogus registration process.

Joker can also steal SMS messages, device information, and contact lists. In the current incident, the Joker variant used in the wallpaper application is targeting victims of ad fraud. Moreover, it discreetly connects innocent users to expensive SMS services.

The malicious Squid Game wallpaper app was then examined by ESET malware researcher Lukas Stefanko, who discovered that the app exposed users to malicious ad fraud and SMS subscriptions.

Malware infected squid game app with over 5,000 downloads found on Google Play Store

Although Google has removed this particular app from the Play Store, what is concerning is the fact that over 5,000 users have already downloaded it. In addition, according to Stefanko, there are over 200 apps related to the game Squid available on the Google Play Store.

Stefanko evaluated all the apps and found that none contained malware, but all had multiple ads. And, another surprising discovery he made is that there is no official Squid Game app at all. Therefore, fans should be very careful when looking for shows related apps.

Seems like a great opportunity to make money with in-app ads from one of the most popular TV shows without an official game. The most downloaded of them reached 1 million installs in 10 days. Its gameplay is not so well managed, Stefanko tweeted.

If you are on Android, there are some precautions you should take before downloading an app, for example, use reliable antivirus software, scan your device regularly and avoid downloading unnecessary apps from the Play Store and third-party platforms.

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