Android Malware Outs App Pirates With Text Messages

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Unscrupulous Android users are the target of a new malware app, which aims to humiliate software pirates by sending text messages to all their contacts.

The app is called Android.Walkinwat, and was reported by security firm Symantec. But unlike the two malware apps that appeared in the Android Market last month, this one is only available through unofficial means, such as file sharing websites.

Android.Walkinwat claims to be a free version of Walk and Text, a $1.54 app that provides a camera feed while you send text messages, in theory allowing you to walk and text at the same time. The malware version, once installed, sends the following text message to everyone in the user’s contact list (spelling and grammatical errors preserved):

“Hey, just downlaoded a pirated App off the Internet, Walk and Text for Android. Im stupid and cheap, it costed only 1 buck. Don’t steal like I did!”

The app then shows another message to the user:

“We really hope you learned something from this. Check your phone bill ;) Oh and dont forget to buy the App from the Market.”

Georgi Tanmazov, developer of Walk and Text, wrote on his website that he had nothing to do with the malware app. The reports by anti-virus software makers Symantec and Avast, he said, are meant to spread fear in order to promote mobile anti-virus products.

But in this case, you’ve got nothing to worry about if you stay within the confines of the Android Market. On AT&T, Android users are actually prohibited from installing apps from other sources, for reasons like this. I like the idea that most Android users can install whatever they want on their phones, but doing so carries a risk. Then again, Android Market apps aren’t always safe, either.