Squid Game apps are all dangerous: here’s why

Hackers are taking advantage of the worldwide success of Squid Game and publishing the first apps inspired by the Korean series of records: here's what you risk by downloading them

That Squid Game is a global phenomenon, which will probably go down in streaming history, can be guessed not only from the audience figures released by Netflix but also from the fact that, as often happens in such cases, hackers are already trying to exploit its name to spread viruses of various kinds and dangerous apps. From no less than two security researchers come specific warnings: these apps can be very dangerous.

Of the two researchers, one, with Twitter profile "Re-ind", is semi-unknown while the other, Lukas Stefanko, is a well-known and trusted Malware Researcher at cybersecurity firm ESET. The alarm is not to be underestimated at all because one of the apps, in particular, can infect your phone with a well-known and dangerous virus: Joker. In general, though, it's best to stay away from any kind of app that exploits the Squid Game name to collect downloads: there is no official Squid Game app, nor any other Netflix TV series, and any app that bears its name is potentially dangerous: at best your smartphone is flooded with ads, at worst you get a virus. Like Joker, which, despite its name, is not a cheap joke at all.

Squid Game: the infected app

The fake Squid Game app is called "Squid Game Wallpaper" and promises the possibility to download high-resolution wallpapers from the now famous Korean TV series broadcast on Netflix.

The app, however, after downloading and running a library that, in turn, downloads the Joker virus. This Matryoshka-like mechanism is typical for infected apps and serves to pass unscathed by the Play Store's antivirus checks.

After the report, Google removed the Squid Game Wallpaper app from the Play Store and, now, it is no longer available. But those who have already installed it would do better to remove it right away and run an antivirus scan on their device.

Joker malware: why it's dangerous

Joker is a "successful" computer virus: it rose to the headlines at the beginning of 2019, already by mid-year it had infected over half a million users. From then on, it was a climb, with more and more infected apps transmitting it.

Joker, at its core, has two very dangerous components: a "spyware" part, which steals the user's sensitive data (among which could be also those of credit cards and other payment instruments) and an "adware" part, which by taking possession of the "dialer" (i.e. the component of the operating system that serves to make calls) does nothing but call paid numbers in the background.

The result is that the user, at any moment, could find his phone bill skyrocketing due to subscriptions and paid services, activated without his knowledge.