Malicious hackers are taking advantage of Netflix’s smash survival thriller Squid Game, which is the streaming service’s most watched series, by embedding malware in themed Android apps.
According to security researchers, the malicious app “Squid Game Wallpaper 4k HD,” which was available on the Google Play Store, was tricking users into downloading a sneaky Android trojan known as Joker, which could infect smartphones and devices with “malicious ad-fraud and/or unwanted SMS subscription actions.”
Squid Game themed Android Joker
1) downloads and executes native lib
2) native lib downloads and executes apk payload
— Lukas Stefanko (@LukasStefanko) October 19, 2021
The program has been downloaded at least 5,000 times via the Google Play Store, according to cybersecurity analysts Re-ind and ESET malware researcher Lukas Stefanko (via CyberNews).
The software has now been removed, according to Forbes, but Stefano claims that there are still more than 200 Squid Game-themed apps available. Threat actors can take advantage of the lack of an official app for the popular Netflix series on the Play Store.
Android apps, despite Google Play Protect, can pose a significant security risk. In a recent security app test, cybersecurity researchers discovered that Google’s security software only detected 31% of spyware threats on Android smartphones, failing to distinguish 20 out of 29 harmful apps.
Cybersecurity experts uncovered 13 Android apps earlier this year that could have exposed the private data of over 100 million smartphone users and developers to malicious assaults.
It’s always a good idea to stay away from unofficial apps on any device.