Android Trojan Download Humiliates, Deters Piracy

Dennis Faas's picture

A controversial new Trojan virus is creeping onto Android smartphones everywhere, but poses no danger of compromising personal data or stealing confidential banking information.

The threat is virtually harmless to "victims". Rather, the sole intent of the Trojan is to target, and later humiliate, those Android owners who download pirated material rather than pay for an authentic version of the same content.

Pirated Android Walk and Text App Devious

Referred to as the "Batman of Mobile Malware" the Trojan (also called Android.Walkinwat) poses as a pirated version of the popular "Walk and Text" Android app.

Once installed, the Trojan gathers as much personal information as it can about the owner and, if illegitimate material is found, notifies them that they have been caught downloading pirated content onto their smartphone.

App Download Pirates Humiliated

But Android.Walkinwat is not content to oust the individual in a private manner.

To further add public humiliation to the situation, it sends out an automated SMS text message to all of the contacts on the smartphone which reads: "Hey. Just downloaded a pirated app off the Internet. Walk and Text for Android. I'm stupid and cheap. It [cost] only a buck. Don't steal like I did!" (Source:

The Trojan is one of the first of its kind to fall under the "hacktivist" category, seeking vigilante justice for the greater good.

Vigilante Justice Meets Mobile Threat

In a recent statement, a Symantec representative stated that "Although this is not the first case of digital vigilante justice being used as a means to send a message against piracy, it is the first of its kind discovered in the mobile threat landscape." (Source:

Android.Walkinwat uses a routine called "LicenseCheck," a function commonly used by legitimate Android apps for license management in association with a Licensing Verification Library created to help prevent piracy.

As it stands, most security companies are treating Android.Walkinwat as a legitimate threat and are attempting to remove it from all smartphone systems.

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