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Harmful Android App Designed To Discourage Piracy

A new application is out to harm Android users. The app is a fake copy of the legitimate “Walk and Text”, a program that uses the smartphone’s camera to show what’s in front of the user while she simultaneously walks and texts. Users can download the program via Google’s official Android Market app store as well as a few unofficial e-marts. You can but the legitimate app for $1.54. The illegitimate version is actually a Trojan that contains malicious code and steals personal data from the phone including the user’s phone number, the device’s unique identifier, and more, sending the information to a remote anonymous server.

Product Manager at Symantec’s (anti-virus company) security response team, John Engles notes the unique aspect of this malware, in that it sends an embarrassing message to each contact in the phone’s address book. The message reads, “Hey, just downlaoded [sic] a pirated App off the Internet,” the message reads. “Walk and Text for Android. Im [sic] stupid and cheap, it costed [sic] only 1 buck. Don’t steal like I did!”

When the application is run, users see a final message that says “We really hope you learned something from this”, which is followed by an offer to buy the legitimate program. The malicious app is called Android.Walkinwat and is a trojan horse, similar to other fake Android apps. Due to the low popularity, Engles does not believe the app to be a high threat but did note that it may cost the victim quite a bit of money if they had a lot of contacts or if their contacts had lived overseas.

Photo Courtesy of mmckeay
Photo Courtesy of Alaskan Dude