The popularity of Squid Game has also caught up with the hackers. Security researchers detected that the Squid Game wallpapers app was being used to spread mobile malware. “Squid Game” is Netflix’s hyper-violent hit Korean series, and cybercriminals are scrambling to cash in on unsuspecting fans.
A cybersecurity researcher Lukas Stefanko of ESET team said the app, named “Squid Game Wallpaper 4K HD,” was carrying financial malware known as Joker. The Google Play Store immediately removed it; however, the app had been installed over 5,000 times before it was taken down by Google.
“Squid Game themed Android Joker 1) downloads and executes native lib 2) native lib downloads and executes apk payload Running this app on device might result in malicious ad-fraud and/or unwanted SMS subscription actions,” Lukas Stefanko tweeted.
The Joker malware has been around for a while now. It has been spotted on various Android platforms. This is the first instance where action has been taken against a Squid Game-themed app.
As per the researcher’s post, once on the device running Squid Game themed app, Android Joker “might result in malicious ad-fraud and/or unwanted SMS subscription actions.”
According to the security researcher’s post, “the app could download and execute native libraries and even execute APK payloads.” This can be used to install Joker on devices.
Despite the fact that the app has been removed from the Play Store, the users who still have this malware app installed should immediately uninstall it.
The malicious app was available alongside hundreds of applications based on the smash-hit series. Stefanko said, “there are more than 200 apps based on Squid Game available on Google Play. The most downloaded out of these apps reached one million downloads within 10 days.”
“Seems like a great opportunity to make money on in-app ads from one of the most popular TV shows without an official game,” he tweeted.