A new Android malware threat is floating around the Internet right now, and this one will make sure every one of your contacts knows that you pirate apps.
Walk and Text is an app that lets you see out of your phone’s camera while you’re texting so you can walk safely without running into things. It costs less than $2, but a fake pirated version of the app has shown up on file-sharing sites and it makes sure you know how cheap you are for pirating a $2 app.
First, the app looks like it’s ‘cracking’ when in actuality it’s sending sensitive information from your phone like your number, IMEI, and even your name to an external server. Then, it tells you that you have been “caught” downloading a pirated app. It’s not done there, however, as afterwards it proceeds to send a text message to every contact on your phone telling them that you are “stupid and cheap.” “Hey, just downloaded a pirated App off the Internet, Walk and Text for Android,” the message reads. “I’m stupid and cheap, it costed only 1 buck. Don’t steal like I did!”
While the text itself is easily explainable as a virus, people with a lot of contacts and no text messaging plan could see their phone bill get quite large because of the texts that this malware sends. At 20 cents a text, this malware could cost you a whole lot more than the $1.50 to buy Talk and Text in the Android Market.
It appears this is the ironic case of a hacker using malware to send a message about ethics. Apparently it’s not OK to pirate, but it is OK to distribute malware using piracy channels that can cost users hundreds of dollars in the end. While this definitely isn’t the first time malware has invaded the Android environment, according to Symantec it’s the first time so called “hacktivism” has been used to send a message against piracy in the mobile landscape.
As always, remember to only download Android apps through official channels like the Android Market to avoid something like this happening on your phone.