Dog Wars App Carrying Animal Rights Android Trojan


Dog Wars is back in the news, and it isn’t due to Michael Vick calling for the removal of the game from the Android Market. The already controversial app has seen an older version hijacked and pumped full of malware, according to Irfan Asrar of Symantec. Unlike some other nasty Android trojans, however, the one found within Dog Wars is designed to shame the person that downloaded it rather than cause harm to their handset. When installed, the malware known as Android.Dogowar injects a package known as “Dogbiet” into the the Android code, triggering a background service called “Rabies.” The result is your device sending an SMS message to all contact list entries with text reading, “I take pleasure in hurting small animals, just thought you should know that,” The malware also signs the users up for PETA text alerts.

The app, which isn’t found in the Android Market but rather on pirated “warez” sites, looks almost identical to the original save for one difference, and it’s easy to miss. Instead of reading “BETA,” closer inspection reveals that “PETA” is actually inscribed on the apps icon. Though the organization has previously spoken out against Dog Wars and has been known to deploy some dirty tactics in the past, PETA is denying any connection to the malware threat. Still, the animal rights group voiced support for the modified app, saying, “We don’t know who created this version of the app, but we think it is ingenious.”

[via CNET]

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  1. Is there an echo is here?

    1. Is there an echo in here?

  2. Chris got this one early last night.

  3. yeh…..deja vú anyone?

  4. Is this a “me too” article like the two Droid 3 reviews?
    This was written less than 13 hours ago.
    OK, so where are Quentyn and Rob’s articles about this malware? Do we have two more articles coming so that the 4 Phandroid writers each get a crack at it?

  5. /facepalm

  6. meh… I don’t read that blog, I just write for it.

  7. While I’m not a PETA supporter in general, that is pretty slick ….

  8. I say if PETA supports infected millions of devices with malware and/or viruses over a stupid game then they are no better than those who host actual dogfights. If PETA supports this, then they are morons and they should be caged up and forced to fight eachother. This is just a game for crying out loud. It seems like it’s always the naysayers, all the haters that have a hard time distinguishing reality from virtual reality. They should just learn when to shut their mouths.

    1. I like that last line about people learning to shut their mouths.

      You should follow it yourself.

  9. The developer should sue the crap out of PETA for copyright violations. So should the users.

    Honestly, why do people who normally understand that video game violence has nothing to do with real world violence suddenly suspend their good judgment for dog fighting.

    Just cause you play Call of Duty doesn’t mean you’re going to grab a gun and blow a bunch of peoples heads off. So why do you think people playing dog fighting games actually like to hurt little animals?

    Just sayin.

    1. PETA didn’t have anything to do with the malware, they just voiced their pleasure of it.

      I think it was ingenious.

      The people who had this app got it through a pirate site, and anyone who would download this to begin with is garbage.

      Too bad it only sent out text messages…. too lenient a punishment for morons.

      1. Saying you have nothing to do with something is not the same as having nothing to do with something.

      2. Lol.. I said the same thing in my article and yesterday and almost got tarred and feathered. Hahahaha..

        I don’t like the dog fighting game. Even worse, I don’t agree with people with steal apps off of those warez sites. >:/

  10. Perhaps they should make a new game featuring fighting roosters, they can call it “Cock Wars; Raise your cock and beat the rest” then maybe PETA or some other deranged group or “animal rights activist” will make a malware app that sends a message to your entire contacts list that reads: “I take pleasure in hurting cocks, just thought you should know that.”

  11. It’s just a game. How is this worse than GTA?

    1. I don’t think anyone said this is WORSE than GTA. Even stil, I don’t know how to explain it but it really is just… different.

      Being a dog owner myself (I own 6 of them) I don’t agree with the content of this game or the fact that it’s promoting illegal dog fighting. It would be similar to a game where you run around and kill little seal babies with a stick. Would I play it? No.

      Do I think it should be removed from the Market? No. Free speech and all that. It is “just a game” and I understand that. Even if I don’t agree with it. =p

      1. As negative a vibe as this game carries, it’s still not cool at all to inject any software with malware. If activists of any type want to gain followers or even just get people to agree with them I can’t think of any worse way than to foist their ideals on people in an unsuspecting way. Especially when it’s against the person’s consent and humiliates them.

        I’m not trying to defend DW and I’m not an enemy of PETA. But I would consider this an “ends do not justify the means” sort of scenario.

        But I dunno why I’m replying to you with this Chris. You’re a knowledgable fellow, you already know this stuff. :)

        So to be clear to anyone who reads this, I don’t like or agree with Dog War’s premise…but I additionally don’t condone the use of virus/malware attacks to make a statement; prove a point; or get a negative app removed from the Market.

  12. Hmm… I feel I already voiced my opinion on this subject already. I think it’s just a publicity stunt. I don’t see anyone going after movies, like SAW, which just shows mindless killing. Oh yea, because it’s just a movie and no one was hurt.

    Wouldn’t be hilarious if someone infected the creator of the app with malware that sent out a text message saying, “I know how to hack into your phone” and one of those messages went to their boss? Heh heh… >:)

  13. You know what, all kinds of disgusting and illegal activity is in games. Dog fighting is a huge deal? Really? Shooting a human’s head off, that one game where you take a magnifying glass to ants, but no, let’s make a big deal about dogs being harmed. I understand the point, but hate how one-sided they are about their ethics. I also don’t think the app should be removed. If they think it is wrong, don’t download it…

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