January 25, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
UPDATE: GOOGLE HAS CLEARED MEMORYUP OF ANY WRONGDOING AND SAID THAT THE APP COULD NOT HAVE CAUSED THE PROBLEMS FOR WHICH IT HAS BEEN ACCUSED. MEMORYUP IS NOT MALWARE ACCORDING TO THIS STATEMENT:
“We have investigated and determined that MemoryUp is not malware,” a Google spokeswoman said in a statement to Wired.com. “In the versions we tested, MemoryUp cannot perform any of the malicious things it is reported to have done.”
The open nature of the Android Market has produced its first security threat as the “MemoryUp Personal” application is reportedly causing numerous problems for people who download it. MemoryUp’s comment section is littered with complaints from users who say the app deleted data on their microSD cards, removed all of their contacts, spammed their e-mail address, and installed adware onto their phone.
MemoryUp enticed thousands to download the app by describing itself as a “handy memory optimizer tool that will keep your Android smartphone running faster and efficiently.” It actually had the opposite effect by bogging down phones. There is actually no need to use MemoryUp because the Android automatically performs the features this app promises. Yet, as one user noted, it is often displayed as a featured app when entering the Market.
Until now, the G1/HTC Dream and the Open Handset Alliance have been praised for the level openness afforded to Android. By comparison, Apple’s iPhone App Store has many restrictions that have blocked the development and release of many apps. This recent turn of events could cause some to wonder if both distribution models may benefit from incorporating some of the other’s features. One security mishap is not cause to abandon one of Android’s greatest strengths, but some added level of security or screening may be necessary.