You definitely don’t want to play: Squid Game-themed malware is here

Nancy J. Delong

The stakes may not be as high as in the hit Netflix clearly show, but you could nevertheless shed your information or identification if you fall short to stick to the rules for dodging the most up-to-date brand of pop-tradition-themed ripoffs.


An ad for a video game purporting to be a electronic edition of Squid Recreation with a cryptocurrency prize that is, in truth, a fraud.

Image: Kaspersky

South Korean Netflix clearly show Squid Recreation has grow to be a runaway hit, surpassing Bridgerton to grow to be the most viewed Netflix clearly show of all time. With 111 million viewers and counting, scammers have started off to smell blood in the drinking water, Kaspersky stories, and Squid Recreation-themed ripoffs and malware have started to surface on the web. 

Kaspersky stories that, among September and October 2021, it observed many dozen malicious documents on the internet with Squid Recreation talked about in their names. The majority of the ripoffs were very simple Trojan downloaders that mounted other malicious packages, but scammers are finding artistic in other ways, as well.

SEE: How to regulate passwords: Most effective techniques and security strategies (no cost PDF) (TechRepublic)

“A single of the cybercriminals’ techniques worked as follows: the victim was allegedly proven an animated edition of the initially video game from the collection, while simultaneously, a Trojan was invisibly launched that could steal information from users’ different browsers and send out it again to the attackers’ server. A shortcut was also made in a single of the folders, which could be made use of to launch the Trojan every single time the program was started off,” Kaspersky reported in its report.

Pop tradition-themed ripoffs are getting significantly widespread, primarily when the fraud in query centers close to media that can be downloaded. Two previous ripoffs claimed by Kaspersky included identical items of media at the peak of their hoopla cycles: Marvel’s Black Widow film and Kanye West’s 2021 album, Donda. 

Unsurprisingly, several of the ripoffs that cybercriminals are making use of to concentrate on Squid Recreation supporters are identical to individuals previous two, these types of as pretend streaming internet websites that harvest information, or pirated episode downloads packed with malware. 

Furthermore, malicious Squid Recreation-themed apps have appeared in third-party app stores, and Kaspersky also claimed Trojans being distributed in “different portals under the guise of other preferred purposes, online games and guides.”

On the web online games purporting to be electronic variations of Squid Recreation with a 100 BNB (Binance Coin) prize (close to $forty eight,000 USD). Signing up means turning more than personalized information, with the end outcome being identification theft and a program likely infected with malware that will only accumulate far more personalized information if not observed and stopped. 

Fraudulent Squid Recreation items internet websites that try out to situation them selves as an official keep have also appeared. Those people web-sites are a goldmine for cybercriminals: Not only are victims supplying credit card or banking information, they’re also sharing personalized determining facts like e mail tackle, a bodily tackle for shipping and delivery, the victim’s authentic identify and far more. 

“The Squid Recreation getting a new hit lure was just a query of time. As with any other trending topic, cybercriminals have a great hunch about what is heading to work and what is not … It truly is extremely important for customers to examine the authenticity of internet websites when looking for a source to stream the clearly show or to buy some merch,” reported Kaspersky security pro Anton V. Ivanov.

Kaspersky reported it recommends double-checking site URLs in advance of opening a web site or clicking on a url. Look for refined misspellings or substituted figures, be conscious to ensure HTTPS:// precedes the URL to suggest a safe connection and examine to be positive that a url you hover more than matches the URL you would be expecting. 

SEE: Protection incident reaction policy (TechRepublic High quality)

In addition to being conscious of URLs, be positive that any documents you might be downloading usually are not suspicious: Films will never ever end with .EXE, .PKG, .DMG or .MSI. Those people all suggest the file is an executable that could put in malware. 

Also be positive to have a trustworthy anti malware answer mounted on your laptop or cellular unit. Superior nonetheless, only watch shows like Squid Recreation on their official web-sites and never buy items if the site is slightly doubtful in any way. 

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