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

Fake Squid Game app with malware found on Google Play Store, downloaded over 5,000 times
The Squid Game malware app was downloaded 5,000 times.Netflix
  • There’s unsurprisingly a flurry of Squid Game apps on the Play Store and one with malware too.
  • The app posed as a Squid Game wallpaper but instead had Joker malware in it.
  • Google was quick to remove the app but it had received more than 5,000 downloads.
Squid Game is Netflix's biggest show ever and has been watched by over 142 million users worldwide. The dystopian Korean series has reportedly raked in $900 million when it took only $21.4 million to produce.

Squid Game has won hearts over and the craze is undeniably visible all over the internet with the show’s merchandise, memes, and even real-life games. There are also a bunch of unofficial Squid Game apps on the Google Play Store out of which one was discovered to be filled with malware.

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

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Google thankfully removed the app from the Play Store upon being notified but it was reportedly downloaded by over 5,000 users, the report added. The researcher also found that hackers used the infamous Joker malware in this app.

Joker strikes again


Anyone familiar with Android malware must have definitely heard about the Joker malware. It's the one that has been lurking on Android phones since 2017 and finding new ways to infiltrate devices. Google even set up a dedicated team to fish out apps with Joker malware and have 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 fake apps still on the Play Store. Just a quick search on the Play Store will pull search results of multiple Squid Game apps where some offer show-like games or wallpapers.

Some of these apps checked by Stefanko didn’t have any malware but did contain a good number of ads. As for the rest of the apps, it isn’t confirmed if they have malware but considering none of the apps are official, it's important to be careful before downloading them on your phone.


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