More Mac apps are stealing and uploading your data, says report

More Mac apps are stealing and uploading your data, says report

Wardle said he reported the issue to Apple back in August, but the company had done nothing to stop Adware Doctor from taking browser histories.

'When an application runs inside a sandbox it is constrained by what files or user information it can access, ' Wardle explained. After getting access to the home directory, these apps would then silently created a zip file containing the user's browsing history from Safari, Chrome, and Firefox which was then uploaded to their servers. "But Adware Doctor clearly found [a way]".

The apps are Dr Antivirus, Dr Cleaner, and Dr Unarchiver, all under the developer account Trend Micro, Incorporated.

Trend Micro specializes in computer security software.

Perhaps as part of that latter feature, Adware Doctor's creator has chosen to take customers' browsing histories and store them on his own server, located in China.

It was first revealed that more than two dozen IOS apps, including weather and fitness trackers, have been collecting their users' private information, such as location and user habits, and sending this information to data monetization firms. "Cleaner, minus the list of installed applications", Reed wrote in his analysis. The issue at hand is the unlawful collection of data and there is no telling how much information was gathered through unauthorized access. 9to5Mac confirmed this with its testing of the Dr. Unarchiver app.

Adware Doctor, which claimed to keep "malware and malicious files from infecting your Mac", was earlier removed when it originally posed as Adware Medic, an actual malware app released by Malwarebytes (Malwarebytes for Mac). Cleaner, and Dr. Unarchiver, among others.

Trend Micro linked to a support page for Dr.

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It also removed browser history collection capability from the products, and said that no data had been compromised.

Trend Micro has completed an initial investigation of a privacy concern related to some of its MacOS consumer products.

It said it had chose to remove the browser history collection feature and had erased all the browser history data it had stored from previous collections. "This has been corrected". The browser history data was uploaded to a US-based server hosted by AWS and managed/controlled by Trend Micro.

Apple has pulled Trend Micro's apps from the store although Trend Micro still has some apps, both for desktop and mobile listed.

SiliconANGLE asked Trend Micro to comment on the report and will update this post if it responds.

These problems raise serious questions about the security of software downloaded from the Mac App Store.

Researchers said that the spying apps had been removed from the Mac App Store following the publication of their advisories. If more apps are found to be covertly gathering user data, however, this reputation could be at risk. And Wardle pointed out that the Mac App Store has known issues with fake reviews propping up bad apps.

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