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Squid Game App With Malware Removed From Google Play; Is It Too Late?
Squid Game is one of the highest-grossing TV shows aired on Netflix, heading on to become a sensation worldwide. It looks like Squid Game is now a popular bait that cybercriminals are using to steal information. A Squid Game app on Google Play was found to be filled with malware with thousands of downloads. Google has now removed the app.
Squid Game App On Google Play
The popularity of the Squid Game series on Netflix seems to have inspired miscreants to use it to install malware and hack into people's phones. The Squid Game app was found to be loaded with the infamous Joker malware. It was discovered by Lukas Stefanko, a cybersecurity researcher at a security firm ESET, found out that the app 'Squid Wallpaper 4K HD'.
Google states the Squid Game app on Google Play has been removed from the Android marketplace. However, the damage caused seems to be bigger. To note, the Joker malware has appeared times on Google Play apps. Now, it's appeared on the popular Squid Game-themed app, which has also been installed 5,000 times before Google pulled it down.
Squid Game themed Android Joker— Lukas Stefanko (@LukasStefanko) October 19, 2021
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 actionshttps://t.co/PTDtPlUkBy pic.twitter.com/AFs8gkEuab
Dangers Of Squid Game App On Google Play
Presently, the Google Play Store has over 200 Squid Game-theme apps that come with ads in them. Also, the Joker malware is one of the most dangerous baits used by hackers. Stefanko explains the Squid Game app on Google Play was an access point for hackers to "malicious ad-fraud and/or unwanted SMS subscription actions."
For instance, those who downloaded the Squid Game app could have received ads that attract them with premium subscriptions. Or they might have received messages with fake transactions, making them click on the link to check for details. This further makes them lose their money to the hackers.
Squid Game On Google Play: Danger Remains
Presently, Google has removed the Squid Game app from Google Play. However, Stefanko and other cybersecurity experts say the threat isn't over just yet. If you've installed a Squid Game app, it's best to delete the app from your phone, advises Stefanko. Next, it's advisable to run a virus check frequently on their Android phone.