Squid Game the dystopian fantasy on Netflix has become the talk of the town lately. While the show is now a hot topic in social media its influence can be seen worldwide across different categories be it in Halloween costumes, shoes, or smartphone apps. Tens and thousands of users were tempted to download one such app that has only masqueraded as malware giving cybercriminals an open door to steal the users’ precious data. Also Read - New Android Auto feature lets you easily reply to texts while driving: How it works
Squid Game malware that could have put your data at risk
The malicious app disguised as the Squid Game wallpaper app was recently flagged by a security firm on the Play Store. First spotted by ESET researcher Lukas Stefanko, who studies malware at the security firm, the malicious app was said to have been downloaded at least 5,000 times before Google took it down from the app store. Named as ‘Squid Game Wallpaper 4K HD,’ the app was found of being used to spread the notorious Joker malware. In this case, anyone downloading the wallpaper could have fallen under the trap of costly SMS services. The app could download and execute native libraries and APK payloads as well, the security researcher noted in his post. Also Read - Google adds 3D monuments to AR Search results: How to use
Joker malware has been around for years now, if the app followed similar tricks, chances are that miscreants could have signed up affected users for some premium services. Stefano notes that besides this app there are more than 200 apps based on Squid Game available on Google Play. Amongst the unofficial apps, the “Squid Games—The Game” replicated the famous Red Light, Green Light game, a similar one that could also be seen on Instagram. The game reached a million installs in just ten days. “Seems like a great opportunity to make money on in-app ads from one of the most popular TV shows without the official game,” he said. Although it wasn’t malicious, a handful of unofficial apps that Stefano checked weren’t harmful as well.
However, the researcher notes that threat lurks around given the popularity of the new series and users should take a cautious approach if downloading Squid Game apps. Google has now removed the app from the Play Store, but Android users who have downloaded the app are advised to immediately remove it from their device. Further, users are advised to download apps from authorised sources and read the reviews, check if the app looks authentic before pressing the download button.