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Squid Game app installs malware onto smartphones

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An app based on Netflix’s smash hit show Squid Game has been revealed to be carrying dangerous malware that can steal money from unwitting users.

Squid Game Wallpaper 4K HD is the app in question. And if you’ve downloaded it to your Android smartphone, you need to delete it immediately.

The Squid Game Wallpaper 4K HD app installs the ‘Joker’ virus onto smartphones without the user realising. And it can empty out your bank account by using your phone to pay for products you haven’t ordered.

The app has now been removed from the Google Play Store after being reported by tech researcher Lukas Stefanko. However, it’s estimated that up to 5,000 people may have already downloaded it. And unless it’s deleted from a device, it can still pose a risk.

The Korean series has been a surprise global sensation. And with people all over the world watching Squid Game, hackers and cybercriminals are looking to take advantage and use the series for their criminal schemes.

The Joker malware is proving to be a difficult virus to control, as it’s previously been found on a number of rogue apps in the Google Play Store. While these apps are swiftly deleted from the Play Store once they are discovered to be carrying malware, the problem lies with people who have already downloaded the app.

The Joker malware works by unwittingly signing you up for expensive services, which the hackers then profit from. If it’s on your phone, it can sign you up for multiple services without you having any idea. It’s important to always check the apps you download are from reputable sources.

Mobile scams seem to be on the rise, and if it’s not dodgy apps it’s texts and even calls. Ofcom has recently introduced plans to block international calls that ‘spoof’ their numbers to appear as if they are calling from the UK, a key trick scammers have been known to use to dupe people.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert here at Uswitch, csaid: “Plans by Ofcom to block international callers pretending to be UK numbers is a positive step forward in reducing scam calls, and timely given their volume has significantly increased in the last year.

“One telephone operator is already said to have implemented the measures, but other networks are still looking into how to make it work.

“Ultimately, it is up to the providers to deliver the technical solutions to block these scammers from making contact. It's now down to Ofcom to push providers to deliver what they've agreed to.

“If you’re struggling with scam calls on your landline, make sure you have registered for the Telephone Preference Service, which should reduce the amount of sales and marketing calls you receive. If you suspect you’re being targeted by a scammer on your mobile, hang up immediately. You can also forward scam texts to 7726 which allows your provider to take action on your behalf.”

For more information about how to avoid nuisance calls on your mobile, check out our useful guide.

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