ibusinesslines.com September 19, 2018

Beware! These Mac apps might be stealing your data

12 September 2018, 01:24 | Jodi Jackson

No.1 Adware Removal App On Apple App Store Caught Spying On Mac Users

A bunch of Mac App Store apps are secretly uploading user data to their servers

It's emerged that a number of apps from the Mac App Store have been secretly gathering user data and uploading it to remote servers. Apple then removed both Dr Unarchive and Dr Cleaner from the App Store for violating the rules.

However, it was able to return to the app store after it changed its name to Adware Doctor. Until removal, all products were top-sellers, with thousands of positive reviews that averaged their ratings between 4.6 and 4.9. At least a handful of apps available for Mac users that ask for that permission are using that access to steal user data such as browsing history and then upload that history to analytics servers.

Adware Medic was a direct copy of an app developed by Malwarebytes.

Until Reed's post, that is. Inspection of the files showed access to recent Google searches on Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, as well as browser history, a complete list of apps on the system including the download location for the apps.

iOS developer and 9to5Mac writer Guilherme Rambo found that Trend Micro's Dr. Unarchiver was also siphoning user data. The process of stealing user data starts after unzipping the app and the user seeing an offer to "Quick Clean Junk Files". He notes that he worked closely with @privacyis1st to compile the report. Also, the researcher did not have a chance to look closer into this, but from his experience with analyzing APT malware, this looks like a valid theory.

After this came to light, Apple pulled the apps from the store.

The apps' behaviour was noticed by a security researcher last week.

We reached out to Trend Micro for a statement on the matter but received no reply at the time of publishing. Apple is making some privacy improvements in macOS Mojave which should prevent apps from stealing a user's browsing history but given how a company lays so much emphasis on the privacy and security of its users, this should not have happened in the first place.

The two apps that users say are guilty of this are called "Dr. Unarchiver" and "Dr".

The firm said this was done for "security purposes", in order to analyse whether a user had recently encountered adware or other threats.

Trend Micro is yet to explain the connection with shady apps from other developers and why the its products were removed from the App Store.

Other News

Trending Now

Hurricane Florence projected path: When will Florence track hit Carolinas?
The storm was getting bigger and better organized and is expected to continue to strengthen for the next day or so, the NHC said. Officials in both North and SC are urging citizens to evacuate inland, especially those living in low-lying or coastal areas.

Matthew Stafford throws four INTs as Lions stumble in season opener
His throw toward Diggs was buried as a "highlight", replaced by the laser 41-yard shot to speed receiver Robby Anderson . He brought the Jets into Lions territory in the first quarter to set up a touchdown drive that would tie the game.

Emma Willis took no prisoners when interviewing Roxanne Pallett on Monday night
It's the title I feel everyone's giving me at the moment, all I can do it own it accept it and take each day now. The letter also referenced Thomas' partner, former The Only Way Is Essex star Lucy Mecklenburgh.

Arthur makes Brazil bow as Neymar & Firmino down the United States
Arthur made his Brazil debut in the 60th minute, Lucas Paqueta in the 70th, Richarlison in the 75th and Everton in the 80th. Neymar stutter-stepped in his run-up, Steffen dove to his right and the striker softly kicked the ball in the other way.

Russians vote as opposition calls protests
Russian police have broken up protests across the country against a planned increase in the retirement age. About 2,500 people gathered in Moscow alone, and police made more than 800 arrests nationwide.

'Mortifying and humiliating': Nicki Minaj speaks out about altercation with Cardi B
The Bronx, New Yorker claimed she was fed up with her peer trying to blackball her in the industry and criticizing her mothering. If you're not familiar with Tom Ford's Boys & Girls collection, allow us to fill you in on what that really means.

Trump promises all-out response to Hurricane Florence
Long cautioned coastal residents via Twitter of storm surges up to 12ft - "rapid rise of water that is overwhelming and deadly". The storm was around 400 miles south of Bermuda on Tuesday afternoon and is trudging towards the east coast at 16mph.