by netflix Squid game centers around a shady organization promising people the chance to win big, but at a high cost if they lose. Now, a real, behind-the-scenes effort is similarly fooling people with an insidious app based on the hit show, the NY Post reports.
The application in question – lurking on the Google Play Store – is used to install a Squid gamewallpaper, but with the cosmetic upgrade, insidious malware is also installed on people’s phones.
“This seems like a great opportunity to make money on in-app ads for one of the most popular TV shows without an official game,” malware researcher Lukas Stefanko said in a Tweet. Stefanko, who works for ESET, allegedly caught the app in the act.
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The app is called Squid Game Wallpaper 4K HD and it is said to infect Android devices with the Joker malware, something that allows hackers to take advantage of its users by registering them – unintentionally – for premium services.
If you are not familiar with Squid game, it’s the Korean survival drama that Netflix has declared to be its biggest series launch of all time.
The show centers on people on the verge of financial ruin who are recruited by an obscure organization in a macabre competition. All 456 contestants have a chance to win a life-changing children’s game series for $ 38 million. But the catch is, if they lose, they die.
Stefanko tweeted that the app sends compromised devices with a flood of unwanted ads via a test message, in a practice he called “malicious ad fraud and / or unwanted SMS subscription actions.”
By the time Google was alerted to the Trojan application and removed it from its store, it had already been downloaded 5,000 times.
The nine episodes of Squid game are on Netflix now.