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

The stakes might not be as excessive as within the hit Netflix present, however you would nonetheless lose your information or identification if you happen to fail to observe the principles for dodging the most recent model of pop-culture-themed scams.


An commercial for a sport purporting to be a digital model of Squid Sport with a cryptocurrency prize that’s, in actual fact, a rip-off.

Picture: Kaspersky

South Korean Netflix present Squid Sport has develop into a runaway hit, surpassing Bridgerton to develop into essentially the most watched Netflix present of all time. With 111 million viewers and counting, scammers have began to scent blood within the water, Kaspersky stories, and Squid Sport-themed scams and malware have begun to look on-line. 

Kaspersky stories that, between September and October 2021, it discovered a number of dozen malicious recordsdata on the net with Squid Sport talked about of their names. Nearly all of the scams had been easy Trojan downloaders that put in different malicious applications, however scammers are getting artistic in different methods, too.

SEE: Easy methods to handle passwords: Greatest practices and safety suggestions (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

“One of many cybercriminals’ schemes labored as follows: the sufferer was allegedly proven an animated model of the primary sport from the sequence, whereas concurrently, a Trojan was invisibly launched that would steal information from customers’ varied browsers and ship it again to the attackers’ server. A shortcut was additionally created in one of many folders, which might be used to launch the Trojan each time the system was began,” Kaspersky mentioned in its report.

Popular culture-themed scams have gotten more and more widespread, particularly when the rip-off in query facilities round media that may be downloaded. Two earlier scams reported by Kaspersky concerned comparable items of media on the peak of their hype cycles: Marvel’s Black Widow movie and Kanye West’s 2021 album, Donda. 

Unsurprisingly, lots of the scams that cybercriminals are utilizing to focus on Squid Sport followers are much like these earlier two, corresponding to faux streaming web sites that harvest information, or pirated episode downloads filled with malware. 

Moreover, malicious Squid Sport-themed apps have appeared in third-party app shops, and Kaspersky additionally reported Trojans being distributed in “varied portals below the guise of different standard purposes, video games and books.”

On-line video games purporting to be digital variations of Squid Sport with a 100 BNB (Binance Coin) prize (roughly $48,000 USD). Signing up means turning over private information, with the tip consequence being identification theft and a system possible contaminated with malware that can solely acquire extra private information if not discovered and stopped. 

Fraudulent Squid Sport merchandise web sites that attempt to place themselves as an official retailer have additionally appeared. These websites are a goldmine for cybercriminals: Not solely are victims offering bank card or banking particulars, they’re additionally sharing private figuring out data like electronic mail deal with, a bodily deal with for transport, the sufferer’s actual identify and extra. 

“The Squid Sport turning into a brand new hit lure was only a query of time. As with every different trending matter, cybercriminals have a superb hunch about what will work and what is not … It is extraordinarily necessary for customers to test the authenticity of internet sites when searching for a supply to stream the present or to purchase some merch,” mentioned Kaspersky safety knowledgeable Anton V. Ivanov.

Kaspersky mentioned it recommends double-checking web site URLs earlier than opening a web page or clicking on a hyperlink. Search for delicate misspellings or substituted characters, be conscious to make sure HTTPS:// precedes the URL to point a safe connection and test to make certain that a hyperlink you hover over matches the URL you’d anticipate. 

SEE: Safety incident response coverage (TechRepublic Premium)

Along with being conscious of URLs, make certain that any recordsdata you are downloading aren’t suspicious: Movies won’t ever finish with .EXE, .PKG, .DMG or .MSI. These all point out the file is an executable that would set up malware. 

Additionally be sure you have a dependable anti malware answer put in in your laptop or cellular system. Higher but, solely watch exhibits like Squid Sport on their official websites and do not buy merchandise if the web site is barely doubtful in any manner. 

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