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Beware: ‘Squid Game’ Malware Infiltrates Phones With Fake Wallpapers
By Alexa Heah, 21 Oct 2021
Image by Netflix
If you’ve got Netflix, you’re probably in one of the 142 million households worldwide that have caught mega-hit series Squid Game. And with the show’s popularity, has come real-life events and pet costumes.
However, if you’re tempted to channel your love for anything Squid Game by decking out your devices in the show’s wallpapers, it’s best to beware. As hundreds of unofficial apps hit the Google Play Store, hackers have already managed to disguise malware by hiding it in in one phone wallpaper app.
According to Forbes, Google was alerted to the malicious app, and has recently removed it from the Play Store. That wasn’t before it received over 5,000 downloads—which means all those Android smartphones could’ve been infected.
The virus was first spotted by security researcher @ReBensk, and then confirmed by ESET malware researcher Lukas Stefanko. Both experts found the malware to be of the well-known Joker variety, which signs victims up to costly text subscription services without their knowledge.
One of the more popular Squid Game-inspired apps currently available, called Squid Games — The Game, reached over a million downloads in just 10 days. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to contain any malware, and is simply a replica of the famed Red Light, Green Light game popularized by the show.
It’s best to take caution when downloading unofficial apps from either the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. While both typically check apps before and after they’re uploaded, hackers may still find ways to get past security regulations.
[via Forbes, cover image by Netflix]
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