A bunch of Mac App Store apps are secretly uploading user data to their servers
12 September, 2018, 13:24
However, this incident suggests that these stores can not be fully trusted as some of the most popular apps (Dr. Unarchiver is #12 most popular free app in the US Mac App Store, Adware Doctor is #1 paid utility app) there are putting user data at risk.
On Friday, Apple removed Adware Doctor, a top security app, from its store, on the exact same grounds. The company says that an initial investigation confirms that Dr Cleaner, Dr Cleaner Pro, Dr. Antivirus, Dr. Unarchiver, Dr. Battery, and Duplicate Finder collected browser snapshots, but the behavior was disclosed in the EULAs of each product.
Trend Micro, Inc is a well-known name in virus protection, so users could be forgiven for thinking that downloading an app from the company would be safe.
As a result, Trend Micro states it removed this feature that collected users' browser history.
According to a news report published on September 7, the "Adware Doctor" app is actually spyware that transmits your browsing history to servers in China. They also uploaded a report on the other apps installed in the system. However, now according to the latest reports, recently, the no.1 adware removal app on the Appleapp store caught spying on Mac users.
Popular applications including Dr. Unarchiver, Dr. The process of stealing user data starts after unzipping the app and the user seeing an offer to "Quick Clean Junk Files".
"Trend Micro is aware of a recent scrutiny of some of our consumer applications, including our Dr".
"This was a one-time data collection, done for security purposes (to analyze whether a user had recently encountered adware or other threats, and thus to improve the product & service)", Trend Micro explains, adding that the data was uploaded to a server in the USA on Amazon Web Services, not in China. We have learned that browser collection functionality was designed in common across a few of our applications and then deployed the same way for both security-oriented as well as the non-security oriented apps such as the ones in discussion.
It's not yet known if any other Trend Micro products have similar issues, but it's interesting to see that three apps have slipped past Apple's App Store rules in such a short space of time. A representative of the company told BleepingComputer that the company statement would be updated continuously.
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