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Hackers use ‘The Crying Game’ apps to install the ‘Joker’ virus on your smartphone and empty your bank accounts

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Taking advantage of the popularity of ‘The Crying Game’ , hackers managed to place in the official Google Play Store several fake apps inspired by the Korean Netflix series. These applications serve as a vehicle for cybercriminals to install the ‘Joker’ virus on Android smartphones , famous for emptying users’ bank accounts without them noticing.

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Despite the fact that ‘The Crying Game’ is already officially the most watched Netflix series of all time , it does not have any official game or application . However, until October 19, more than 200 apps related to Korean production were registered, as reported on Twitter by Lukas Stefanko , a specialist in malware analysis for the computer security company ESET .

“More than 200 applications related to #SquidGame are available on Google Play. It seems like a great opportunity to earn money with in-app ads of one of the most popular TV shows without an official game. The most downloaded of them reached 1 million installations in 10 days. They have not handled their game very well, “Stefanko wrote on his Twitter account.

According to the threat expert, one of these apps was posing as a collection of wallpapers from the show, but in reality it contained the dangerous ‘Joker’ malware.

The hackers even impersonated the name of a company specializing in creating wallpapers for mobile series and movies. Thus, users fell into the trap and downloaded it, thinking it was a verified app.

Although the malicious app inspired by ‘The Crying Game’ has already been identified and removed from the Google Play Store , users can still download it through unofficial channels.

How the ‘Joker’ virus works that steals money from your bank accounts

The malicious software known as ‘Joker’ has been the terror of Android users since 2017. Its way of operating is as simple as it is creative and dangerous.

It is a Trojan virus that belongs to a family of malware known as Bread , whose objective is to hack cell phone bills and authorize operations without the user’s consent or knowledge .

Once installed on the victim’s smartphone, ‘Joker’ can access text messages , contacts , and other information. However, the worst thing about this virus is that it modifies the telephone billing services to make charges , authorize monetary operations and subscribe to payment services (almost always Premium or the most expensive version), without the owner knowing.

The victim usually becomes aware of the fraud when it is too late, noticing that someone has been ‘milking’ their bank accounts until they are empty.

Since the ‘Joker’ malware was recorded, the Google Play Store defense systems have eliminated more than 1,700 apps that contained it, before they were downloaded by users.

In September 2020, the ‘Joker’ virus was found in 24 Android applications that registered more than 500 thousand downloads before being removed. It is estimated that that time it affected more than 30 countries including the United States, Brazil and Spain. Through unauthorized subscriptions, hackers could steal up to $ 7 (about 140 Mexican pesos) per subscription weekly, a figure that has most likely increased in the last year.



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