Apple takes down popular Mac utility app that stole users’ browser data
MANILA, Philippines - Apple took down a popular Mac application for reportedly stealing users’ browser data.
Adware Doctor, the app in question, was the highest-grossing utility app in the app store before being taken down. It was listed alongside other apps including Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro X.
According to TechCrunch, the app was meant to “keep your Mac safe” by blocking malware and other malicious files including pop-up ads.
What the app actually does, however, is it collects users’ system files and browser by history and sends it to a domain based in China. It does this by disguising its access request as a malware scan.
“Let’s face it, your browsing history provides a glimpse into almost every aspect of your life,” Patrick Wardle, a former NSA hacker and chief research officer at cybersecurity firm, Digita Security said. “And people have even been convicted based largely on their internet searches!”
Wardle tipped Apple off regarding the app’s suspicious activities about a month ago but the app was only pulled from the app store just a few days ago. The domain in China, meanwhile, also reportedly went offline.
What’s interesting about this incident is that it’s rare to find malicious apps slipping through Apple’s strict security criteria when it comes to what users can download in the app store. – Rappler.com