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The Joker virus disguises itself as the Squid Game app and infects thousands of mobiles

Thousands, millions are the users who have surrendered – or at least have seen a couple of chapters – of The Squid Game / Squid Game, the Korean series turned into a global phenomenon that already inspires costumes, imitations and debates about whether to it must let children see its content – the series is for adults, period, there is no debate possible.

Squid Game is already the most watched series in the history of the VOD platform, and as such there are many who want to jump on the bandwagon of their popularity and get a slice, like cybercriminals.

Squid Game App

With such success, using the series name is an absolute claim. And there are many who want to personalize their mobile with Squid Game stickers, avatars and wallpapers. But be careful, because it is curious that there is not a single official Squid Game application but there are around 200 apps related to the series only in the Google Play Store. And one of them has been ‘hunted’ as fraudulent

Discovered by a researcher Android security system using the username @ ReBensk ‘and subsequently analyzed by the company’s Android malware researcher ESET Lukas Stefanko, the app had downloaded a few 5,000 times before being removed from the Android Google Play Store, so there are 5,000 potential users at risk of having their phones full of Malware. And also an old acquaintance …


Some of the 200 unofficial apps available for The Squid Game in the Google Play Store. Some do not have malware, others do.

Both researchers determined that It was a well-known fake Android software brand known as Joker. In this case, anyone who downloaded the wallpaper could have been the victim of ad fraud or signed up for expensive SMS services without knowing it.

Joker strikes again

Discovered by Google in 2017 and dubbed one of the most essential comic book villains and a true icon of popular culture, The Joker es un malware that for several times has managed to sneak into the Google Play Store of Android. But just like in the comics, the ‘Joker’ always comes back.

Once your mobile has been infected, the malware Joker starts interacting with ad websites, using authorization codes for premium subscriptions of those pages and simulating clicks in banners and others, that is: signing up for advertising services that we have not requested.

Through this technique, Joker can be made with a certain amount of euros per user per week thanks to the automation of the process of interacting with the premium offer of a specific website.

So, shouldn’t I download any Squid Game app?

Does this mean that is it better not to download a single one of the around 200 apps in the series? Among the unofficial applications, one called “Squid Games-The Game” reproduced the famous game Luz Roja, Luz Verde that appeared in the first episode of the series. Despite its basic gameplay, it reached one million installations in just ten days.

But researcher Stefanko said that it was not malicious in any way, neither this nor a handful of other unofficial apps that he checked as well. The only thing is that they showed a lot of ads in the app. According to the expert, “I would be careful when downloading any unofficial application. Still, if I were to install any of them, I would advise users tothey look at other people’s reviews that could suggest what the application is about ”.


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