“When you give an app access to your home directory on macOS, even if it’s an app from the Mac App Store, you should think twice about doing it,” Guilherme Rambo writes for 9to5Mac. “It looks like we’re seeing a trend of Mac App Store apps that convince users to give them access to their home directory with some promise such as virus scanning or cleaning up caches, when the true reason behind it is to gather user data – especially browsing history – and upload it to their analytics servers.”

“Today, we’re talking specifically about the apps distributed by a developer who claims to be ‘Trend Micro, Inc.,’ which include Dr. Unarchiver, Dr. Cleaner and others,” Rambo writes. “This issue was reported before by a user on the Malwarebytes forum, and in another report. Other researchers followed up and found that apps distributed by this “Trend Micro, Inc.” account on the Mac App Store collect and upload the user’s browser history from Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox to their servers. The app will also collect information about other apps installed on the system. All of this information is collected upon launching the app, which then creates a zip file and uploads it to the developer’s servers.”

“We were able to confirm these reports, at least with the Dr. Unarchiver app,” Rambo writes. “As of today, “Dr. Unarchiver” is the nº 12 most popular free app in the US Mac App Store. This is a massive privacy issue and we expect Apple to pull these apps from the Mac App Store fairly quickly. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Fortunately, Apple (finally) appears to be on this now as Guilherme reports that the apps discussed in this article have since been removed from the Mac App Store.

Apple, do the right thing and protect your claim of offering superior privacy protections to users of Apple products: Pull the app and issue refunds to Mac App Store customers who trusted Apple to protect them from such unscrupulous, privacy-trampling dreck.MacDailyNews, September 7, 2018

SEE ALSO:
More malicious apps that steal user data found in Apple’s Mac App Store – September 7, 2018
No. 1 paid utility in Mac App Store, Adware Doctor, steals browser history and sends it to servers in China – September 7, 2018