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Android Trojan horse app uses shame to curtail your piracy

Posted: , by Ken N.

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Android Trojan horse app uses shame to curtail your piracy
If the threat of a lawsuit or even criminal charges isn't enough to deter you from piracy, then perhaps public shame will do the trick. The 'Android.Walkinwat' app presents itself as a free alternative to the popular 'Walk and Text' app, which uses your camera to let you see ahead while still focusing on your screen. But while 'Android.Walkinwat' doesn't carry a pricetag, it's anything but free.

The app is downloaded from a number of alternative Android app markets, and then works like a Trojan horse within your device. It will first redirect you to the legitimate link to download the paid 'Walk and Text' app. But the real shaming comes when it secretly sends the following SMS to your entire contact list:

"Hey, just downloaded [sic] a pirated app off the internet, Walk and Text for Android. Im stupid and cheap, it costed [sic] only 1 buck. Don't steal like I did!"

After that, the app will bring up a message on your screen, which says ""We really hope you learned something from this. Check your phone bill ;) Oh and dont forget to buy the App from the Market."

AVAST Software, the Czech Republic-based security company, says the app can be traced to Georgi Tanmazov, the CEO behind Incorporate Apps' legitimate version of 'Walk and Text'. Users suggested that the Trojan horse was copying their contact lists, but Tanmazov and Incorporate Apps dismissed the rumors with the following statement:

"We are looking into ways of filing a lawsuit against AVAST from CZECH REPUBLIC, company which has a vast interest in spreading fear in favor of their products! We are denied contact to any officials from that company and our calls are being blocked or ignored."

While we respect the right of Incorporate Apps to protect their copyrighted works, don't you think a Trojan horse shame-fest is a little much? Legality aside, it will put a bad taste in your mouth the next time you consider buying from Incorporate Apps.

source: L.A. Times Tech Blog

12 Comments
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posted on 03 Apr 2011, 11:28

1. biglebronski (Posts: 22; Member since: 18 Mar 2011)


People that would rather pirate an app than pay $1 for it deserve this. That's the risk you take, tight-wads.

posted on 03 Apr 2011, 14:21

6. giantgnome (Posts: 67; Member since: 11 Feb 2011)


Pirate? What part of "The 'Android.Walkinwat' app presents itself as a free alternative to the popular 'Walk and Text' app" of the article did you not understand?

If there was a trojan built into the paid version of Walk and Text that could detect it was pirated that would be one thing. But if it seemed like a legitimate free alternative to the paid app without making it clear that *it is* the actual paid app then the problem isn't piracy but that the company has a problem with people not wanting to pay, even if it's only $1, for software that's *similar*.

posted on 03 Apr 2011, 19:41

7. KParks23 (Posts: 444; Member since: 13 Oct 2010)


i agree with giant and would u not have to pay for all the auto text it sends out if u dont have unlimited text. this is just stupid whoever made this is a loser...and like any of your friends would give a crap anyway maybe if your in middle school LOL

posted on 03 Apr 2011, 12:42

2. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Well, let's see. First, it seems like this app doesn't represent itself as an actual pirated copy of walk and text. There are numerous free copycat apps of popular paid apps on the market. But I still think the trick is funny, as in the end it doesn't do any lasting damage to the device. And people have been told that downloading apps off market is potentially idiotic.

posted on 03 Apr 2011, 13:19

3. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)


But I mean, can you blame people? For your average user, there are a lot of different app stores out there that are safe. Carrier and manufacturer apps are already out there and now Amazon has it's own Android app store. It makes things a bit harder for people to understand what app store is okay and which one isn't...

posted on 03 Apr 2011, 14:10

4. giantgnome (Posts: 67; Member since: 11 Feb 2011)


I think it takes more than just your "average" user to somehow end up with a 3rd party market that isn't safe. For one thing, these obscure markets don't advertise or come with phones like the ones for nVidia and the Amazon Appstore. I can see someone having those kinds of market apps on their phone but anything beyond that would need someone who is more into their phones than the "typical" user.

posted on 03 Apr 2011, 22:50

8. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


I would argue that Android's user demographic is able to discern one of those app markets from an app "black market," but then I downloaded and started using Votermap. Now I'm not so sure.

posted on 03 Apr 2011, 14:19

5. Artem Russakovskii (unregistered)


I think you meant "downlaoded" when you said [sic].

posted on 04 Apr 2011, 07:45

9. IncorporateApps (unregistered)


Everybody is entitled to an opinion. You are however not entitled to an opinion when you cover a story, and to note,one sided story, and make false accusations without having facts behind them and not contacting both sides before posting about a certain topic. Those are basic journalist guidelines.
The only thing we understand resembles our app is the name. The link to our market app is from our original license dialog, so however did this, took that part from the app.

In your article you mention " alternative Android app markets". I do not know any " alternative Android app market". This virus is being spread on torrents and illegal forums we have no control over, nor do we have the needed influence to post cracked versions of apps.

So please stop insinuating that we have anything to do with this file, we do not have the resources to go on every blog that is going to repost your "story" blindly.

thank you!

posted on 04 Apr 2011, 13:02

11. Andy (unregistered)


Ever hear of the Amazon android app store?

Or Appbrain?

Come on.

posted on 06 Apr 2011, 04:36

12. IncorporateApps (unregistered)


Amazon is checking all the apps prior to launch and our app is not on it yet.
Appbrain is not a store - they serve the apps from the Android Market and redirect you to it.

And to say "alternative android app market" you imply that the app is on a "market". And it is not, the files are served on torrents.

posted on 04 Apr 2011, 09:26

10. shafboy (Posts: 179; Member since: 26 Sep 2010)


I have unlimited texts.

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