We'll play, move along...green light. If you've seen Netflix's "The Squid Game" series, then you know what this phrase refers to, but there's someone you need to watch out for: cybercriminals. Attackers have taken advantage of the fever for this Netflix series, which even gained Netflix more than four million new users, to maliciously create apps that steal people's information.

Developers use the name and theme of the series to create malicious apps. For example, a The Squid Game wallpaper app, which included adware (malicious adware) and signed people up to a premium SMS service on the Google Play Store, but fortunately the app was quickly removed. Another Android app with a Squid Game theme was also seen being used to spread SpyMax, a remote access tool designed to spy on users.

Cybercriminals love trends as much as the rest of us, but they appreciate them for the hook they provide to attract potential victims. Considering the popularity of The Squid Game series, it's no wonder that scams abusing the name and themes of the series have already emerged. In other countries, for example Spain, attackers circulated physical cards like those featured in the series, which included a QR Code that when scanned took victims to malicious websites.

Cybercriminals create supposed sites with links offering free streams, however, these may contain malware or malicious ads, or fake online game ads based on the games in the series.

Tips to protect yourself

Use an antivirus.

Users can protect themselves first by using antivirus software on all devices, including mobile devices.

Download apps from official stores.

When downloading apps, it is safer to only use stores like the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, which can help them avoid malware.

Read app ratings before downloading.

As an extra precaution, users are advised to carefully read app store reviews before downloading any app to see if they reveal possible warning signs.

Do not scan QR codes.

Interacting with QR codes on cards found in public places is not recommended, as well as not connecting USB devices to computers found in public places, both of which can lead to malware installation.

Use official streaming platforms.

Last but not least, for anyone who has not yet watched the series, it is recommended that you only watch it on Netflix and not on any other streaming sites, as these unofficial streams often contain adware and other malware.