Shame on You: Pirated Android App Really Shameware

Shame on You: Pirated Android App Really Shameware

A pirated version of an Android app is actually a Trojan that "shames" someone who installs it by sending an SMS message to all his contacts telling them of his piracy.

The original app is called Walk and Text, and costs $2.10 in the Android Market. The app uses the camera on the back of a smartphone to show a user a visual of his upcoming surroundings, which will supposedly prevent the user from running into the street or across a set of train tracks.

[Of course, since many tend to look down as they text, it's also possible they will see only the ground, unless they retrain themselves to hold the phone perpendicular to the ground as they walk. For us, that seems really hard to do.]

The pirated version is available from unofficial Android app markets, and once installed and redirects the pirate to the legitimate app in the Android Market, while also sending the following SMS message to the phone's entire contact list:
"Hey, just downlaoded [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!"
Finally, a message pops up on the phone's screen:
"We really hope you learned something from this. Check your phone bill ;) Oh and dont forget to buy the App from the Market."
Security firm Avast took a look at the pirated app, and made some conclusions that resulted in a huge blow-up in the comments section, including threats of a lawsuit. That contentiousness came from Avast's original post, which determined that data from the pirated app was sent to a URL owned by Georgi Tanmazov, CEO of Incorporate Apps, the developer of a number of Android apps including the legitimate "Walk and Text" app.

The conclusion of the original post was that the app was a sort of punishment by Incorporate Apps to pirates. According to some of the Incorporate Apps comments in the post, which has since been rewritten, "We argued about a previous version of our Apps being stolen and hijacked on numerous forums and I guess people tried to get back on us in some way."

The rewritten post offers other alternative theories as to the URL and to why data would be sent to it.
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Ha, but they need to send something that sounds better out. The text is plain stupid and spam! But Nice :P. what do they mean by check your bill? is that meant for those without text plans?

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I havnt tried this app, but it doesnt seem like it would make texting easier.

If all it does is show a little message i dont think it is going to make me feel bad about downloading pirated software. It should say " Haha you downloaded pirated software and now are being sued" that will scary a couple of people.

PS : DONT WALK AND TEXT. It is annoying walking behind some one on the phone, and i will laugh at them when they fall down the stairs.

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LOL fat thats the point of this app. i have it on my iphone but i don't use it. It turns on your camera so you see what is in front of you in the background while you text. Also in this case it send a text to all your contacts and that could add up to a hifty bill if u have millions of contacts... LOL

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Thanks a lot giveme appreciate the spam. SO your writing a response to an article that tells of a company making a contact spamming app, and notifying all of someones contacts with it, and you are spamming for your website. That is a twisted form of making sens is it not. I think it is kinda funny really.

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Good for them but I don't think it will make much of a difference

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Hahaha I like this, witty way of giving pirates a little gut punch with the texts to all contacts

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Thanks to Avast for finding that. I just moved from the nice safe confines of Apple's appstore to Android. Unfortunately on Apple my wife and I could share apps on one Apple account for the household. On Android I had to learn how to backup and restore to the SD card. Kind of like knowing now how all the appstores work, you pay for a download link once and then you get the software download.

Anyway, I'll be sure to avoid malware writers like "Incorporate Apps" in the future and be sure to never buy their apps. All software makers throughout time have always understood there's a percentage of piracy in their software, but anyone who's ever attempted to strike back has always ended up cutting themselves.

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