One of the more controversial apps on the Android Market today is that of a dog-fighting game called KG Dogfighting by Kage Games LLC. That game lets you raise a virtual dog, inject it with adrenaline shots and fight other owners’ dogs for the low price of $5. Sounds classy, right?
Well, needless to say PETA and other animal activists found the app appalling, sending emails to the developers and Google requesting the game be removed from the Market. Where picket signs were the old way of getting your point across, (hey – this is the 21st century) someone decided to take matters into their own hands, this time targeting users of the app instead of the developers themselves.
The attack comes in the form of a malware version of the game being uploaded to the many warez sites pirating paid apps for free. And like your momma always told you, karma is a– well, it will come around and bite ya! Symantec discovered the rabies infected version of Dog Fighting hiding a trojan called “Dogbiet” that, upon being opened, starts a service called “Rabies” which then sends out a text message to your contacts with the message,
“I take pleasure in hurting small animals, just thought you should know that.”
The app will then sign up the user for PETA’s text messaging service. Well, played Mr. Vigilante. Well, played. The malicious -er, “PETA” version of the Dog Fighting app can be visually identified from the legitimate version simply by looking at the icon which replaces “Beta” with “Peta.” When PETA was asked about the Dog Fighting PETA version of the app they quickly denied any involvement but definitely condoned the actions. The PETA rep had this to say,
“We don’t know who created this version of the app, but we think it is ingenious. When someone creates a game that glorifies animal abuse, you can bet that people will come up with clever, smart ways to take action against it.”
We may never know who the masked crusader was who developed the rabies infected version of the Dog Fighting app. While I can’t say I condone malware (this was more practical joke than anything) I think the illegal downloading of paid apps is the far greater sin and will do nothing but hurt Android. I just so happen to be a dog owner and lover myself (4 German Shepherds, poodle and a chihuahua), so I don’t condone the promoting of dog fighting either. Either way, the app’s “malware” was little more than a cruel joke played on a users who should have stayed off the warez sites, and on the Android Market where they belong. Who knows, with a little more programming knowledge, I would have taken the mischievous nature of the Dog Fighting PETA version just a little further with a text message adding, “I also steal apps online.”