Squid Game fans hit by scams promising access to season 2

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Tue, 2 Nov 2021, 2:04PM
Kids as young as six and seven are copying the violent children's games depicted in the Netflix show. (Photo / Netflix)
Kids as young as six and seven are copying the violent children's games depicted in the Netflix show. (Photo / Netflix)

Squid Game fans hit by scams promising access to season 2

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Tue, 2 Nov 2021, 2:04PM

Fans eager to watch the next season of Netflix's runaway hit Squid Game have been hit with scam emails that infect their devices with malware. 

Cybersecurity platform Proofpoint reports thousands of fans based primarily in the US have been hit with the fraudulent email, which asks people to fill out an attached Excel document for access. 

"Get early access to the new season Squid Game. New storyline, new game, new challenges. Please fill out a short document to gain access," reads one such email. 

As it stands, however, neither the series' creator Hwang Dong-hyuk nor the streaming giant have confirmed a second season of the popular show, although Hwang has hinted at potential storylines. 

Another scam detected by the cybersecurity product involves an email call-out asking actors to register their interest to audition for the next season of Squid Game. 

Users are directed to download an Excel document which infects the device with a Dridex trogan virus which can result in data theft and the installation of ransomware and further malware. 

Having tracked the particular TA575 Dridex virus since late 2020, Proofpoint estimates the malware sends thousands of emails per campaign. 

This isn't the first time digital criminals have attempted to leverage Squid Game's popularity to dupe victims. 

Previously, scam warnings were issued over a new cryptocurrency inspired by the Netflix cult hit named Squid Game coin. Despite the value of the digital tender surging from $0.01235 to $11.16 (90,000 per cent) just days after it began trading, cryptoasset price-tracking website CoinMarketCap quickly issued a warning over reports investors were unable to resell the cryptocurrency. 

"We have received multiple reports that users are not able to sell this token in Pancakeswap (a cryptoasset exchange site)," the site says. "Please do your own due diligence and exercise caution while trading! This project, while clearly inspired by the Netflix show of the same name, is unlikely to be affiliated with the official IP." 

The South Korean survival drama has been likened to The Hunger Games and Battle Royale and follows contestants of a disturbing competition who risk their life playing a series of children's games to win a prize pool of 45.6 billion South Korean won ($A51.6 million). 

Since its release, Squid Game has become the streaming platform's most-viewed debut, overtaking Bridgerton. The show was viewed by 111 million accounts in the first four weeks of its launched, beating the 82 million accounts which watched the Regency-period rom-com. 

- Jessica Wang, news.com.au