Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Malware Comes to Android

Android Community reports that an application in the Android Marketplace called MemoryUp Personal destroys user data and spams users. A quick search of the Android Market as of 1AM Central Time turns up no such app but a quick search of the Android Community forums shows numerous threads dedicated to this app, mostly complaints and several comments about this application being pulled from the Android Market. There are too many threads for me to go over right now (it's late and I'm sleepy) but the point is pretty clear. Avoid this application, at best it doesn't work and at worst it can damage your phone.

As the original Android Community story points out, the fact that this application showed up in the Android Market at all raises some serious questions about Google's selection process for Market applications which seems to be to greenlight everything and only pull stuff later if people complain. It makes for a disturbing contrast with the iPhone App Store which is often criticized for being too overbearing and reluctant to approve apps. Presumably, a malware application would never make it into the Apple App Store which routinely rejects perfectly legitimate and useful applications. There has to be a middle ground between Apple's overbearing strictness and Google's not so benign neglect. I hope that someone at Palm is studying this incident because when the Palm Pre comes out with its App Store, they will be prime targets for these kinds of shenanigans.

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