Fake Squid Game app with malware found on Google Play Store, downloaded over 5,000 times

  • There is unsurprisingly a wave of Squid game apps on the play store and one with malware as well.
  • The application posed as Squid Game wallpaper but had instead Wildcard malware inside.
  • Google was quick to remove the app, but it had received more than 5,000 downloads.

Squid Game is Netflix’s largest show to date and has been watched by over 142 million users worldwide. The dystopian Korean series is said to have grossed $ 900 million when it only took $ 21.4 million to produce it.

Squid Game has captured hearts and the craze is undeniably visible all over the internet with the actual merchandise, memes, and even games from the series. There are also a bunch of unofficial Squid Game apps on the Google Play Store, one of which has been discovered filled with malware.

This Android app disguised itself as a Squid Game wallpaper app but is instead filled with malware, according to a report from Forbes. The application was
discovered for the first time by a Twitter user named @ReBensk. It was then investigated by ESET malware researcher Lukas Stefanko, who discovered that the app could lead to malicious ad fraud and unwanted SMS subscriptions.

Google thankfully removed the app from the Play Store after being notified, but it was reportedly downloaded by more than 5,000 users, the report added. The researcher also discovered that hackers were using the infamous Joker malware in this application.

Joker strikes again

Anyone familiar with Android malware should certainly have heard of Joker malware. It’s the one that has been hiding on Android phones since 2017 and finding new ways to infiltrate devices. Google has even set up a dedicated team to harvest apps containing the Joker malware and has so far removed more than 1,800 infected Android apps from the Play Store.

Not the only Squid Game app

This malware infused Squid Game app has been removed from the Play Store, but there are still tons of bogus apps left on the Play Store. A simple search on the Play Store will bring up search results for several Squid Game apps, some of which offer show-type games or wallpapers.

Some of these Stefanko verified apps did not contain any malware but did contain a fair number of ads. As for the rest of the apps, it is not confirmed that they contain malware, but since none of the apps are official, it is important to be careful before downloading them to your phone.


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