Are you a fan of the "Squid Game" Netflix series? Then you should be careful with what you download. Google Play Store listed over 200 applications related to the series, but at least one of them was discovered hiding a malware.
The Korean drama series "Squid Game" was a runaway hit on Netflix. Its hype extended to anything and everything related to the show, including wallpaper, games and other similar apps.
Due to its open-source nature, many fans and developers shared their app creations on the Google Play Store. Developers created "Squid Game" themed wallpapers, screen savers, icons and games, while fans happily downloaded these apps on their smartphones. Unfortunately, some malicious actors took advantage of the exchange to sneak in a few malware programs.
'Squid Game' App Contains Joker Malware!
ESET Android malware researcher Lukas Stefanko recently tweeted that "over 200 Squid Game related apps are available on Google Play." He explained that the hype was an excellent opportunity to make money through in-app ads. The most downloaded "Squid Game" app even reached 1 million installations even though its gameplay was "not that well handled."
Over 200 #SquidGame related apps are available on Google Play— Lukas Stefanko (@LukasStefanko) October 19, 2021
Seems like a great opportunity to make money on in-app ads from one of the most popular TV show without official game.
The most downloaded of them reached 1M installs in 10 days. Its game play is not that well handled pic.twitter.com/gCOYXXaVHY
A second Android security researcher using the handle @ReBensk took a closer look at one of the "Squid Game" wallpaper apps. This led to the discovery of the Joker Trojan inside the app.
#Android #Banking #Trojan #Malware @malwrhunterteam @cryptax@bl4ckh0l3z @JAMESWT_MHT@500mk500#Joker Trojan on Google Play:https://t.co/gXygwRz31Q— Re-ind (@ReBensk) October 18, 2021
According to Techspot, Joker is an infamous malware seen on the Play Store plenty of times in the past. It typically signs up its victim to expensive and premium subscription services by simulating the sign-up process. It also steals the victim's SMS messages, contact lists and device information.
For reference, Joker was detected in 24 apps back in 2019 and had over 472,000 downloads. By 2020, 64 new variants also appeared in Google's storefront. Unfortunately, most victims discovered the app a little too late and only complained after being charged with the suspicious purchases.
Fortunately, Google seems to be aware of the problem. At the time of writing, Google has already identified the app and removed it from the store. Any search on the infected app will redirect users to a notification "we're sorry, the requested URL was not found on this server."
However, the app was recorded to get at least 5,000 downloads. Users who downloaded the app are recommended to uninstall it immediately.
Netflix 'Squid Game' Official App
Keep in mind that "Squid Game" has never declared a mobile app for the series outside of Netflix. This means fans should always be wary of any "Squid Game" app that third-party users generate.
Stefanko noted that all the other "Squid Game" apps seemed free of malware. However, Android users are warned to download these types of the app at their own risk.