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Google banned this Squid Game malware, here’s why users should delete it now

This undated photo released by Netflix shows South Korean cast members, from left, Park Hae-soo, Lee Jung-jae and Jung Ho-yeon in a scene from
This undated photo released by Netflix shows South Korean cast members, from left, Park Hae-soo, Lee Jung-jae and Jung Ho-yeon in a scene from "Squid Game."  (Youngkyu Park/Netflix via AP)

After researchers detected malware in this Squid Game app, Google deleted the app from the Play Store. Here’s what you need to do if you downloaded the app, and how to stay safe.

Squid Game is the latest super hit series out of the Netflix stables and viewers around the world are hooked - the show which cost $21 million to make will reportedly generate $891.1 million in value, according to Bloomberg. With the series only gaining in popularity, hackers and malicious users are working overtime to take advantage of viewers and fans. After a security firm flagged an app on the Play Store that was being used to spread malware, Google has removed the app from the Play Store and users will have to remove the app from their devices. Read on to know more about how to keep your devices safe.

The malware that is directed at fans of the popular Netflix series Squid Game was spotted by ESET researcher Lukas Stefanko, who studies malware at the security firm. The app, known as ‘Squid Game Wallpaper 4K HD’ was reportedly being used to spread the notorious Joker malware. We have covered the Joker malware before, this is not the first instance of an app infecting an app on the store, but it is the first time that it is being used to target viewers and fans of the new hit series.

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According to the researcher, the app could result in “malicious ad-fraud and/or unwanted SMS subscription actions”. If this sounds like the modus operandi of the Joker malware, that is likely because they both function in the same manner. This means that users could not only be bombarded with advertisements but they might also be signed up for some premium services which will cost them a lot of money.

While Google has now removed the app from the Play Store, Android users who have downloaded the app must immediately remove it from their device as their devices might be at risk. They must also remain alert about similar apps that appear in the future, and avoid apps that are not officially released by the original company, even if the app or game is being offered for free. As the researcher notes, over 200 apps with the same theme are currently available on the Play Store, and users must remain cautious about downloading these apps in order to keep their devices safe.

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