More malicious apps that steal user data found in Apple’s Mac App Store

“A number of apps in the Mac App Store have been found to be stealing data from its users, acquiring sensitive information and sending it to the developer, including one app which was the top paid utility available in the store before its removal,” Malcolm Owen reports for AppleInsider. “The biggest app of the list is Adware Doctor, which topped the chart for paid utilities in the Mac App Store, before being removed after the reports about it first emerged on Friday.”

“A second app, Open Any Files, takes over a system’s ability to handle documents that are not associated with an existing app, using the opportunity to advertise other apps that supposedly could open files. Aside from the extra affiliate-based behavior, the app was also found to have similar characteristics to Adware Doctor, in acquiring the browsing and search history of Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, as well as the App Store,” Owen reports. “While the app was reported to Apple in December 2017, it is still available to download from the Mac App Store.”

“Dr. Antivirus, discovered through Open Any Files, performs similar data collection but with limitations, restricted by macOS. The same data was collected and exfiltrated, but with the addition of a file detailing metadata of every application installed on the Mac,” Owen reports. “The same developer created Dr. Cleaner, which again collected data from the user’s Mac and sent it to a specific address.”

“The discoveries of the malware calls into question the safety of apps available from the Mac App Store, and Apple’s ability to make sure they are safe before making them available to purchase or download,” Owen reports. “According to Malwarebytes, the company has reported such instances of malware to Apple for “years,” with barely any immediate actions undertaken to remove the offending apps.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s Mac App Store needs a real Dr. Cleaner.

Paging Dr. Schiller, Dr. Phil Schiller…

No. 1 paid utility in Mac App Store, Adware Doctor, steals browser history and sends it to servers in China – September 7, 2018


    1. And SJWism which should be on top of excellence in engineering production and privacy safety which it is not.

      Yes, this gross blunder has all the earmarks of Cook’s weak leadership in that area. There are very few top people to fire and he already shot that wad with Forstall.

  1. Higher walls? But but, what about “no walls, no boarders!”? lol. I’m not worried that Apple couldn’t protect the least overlooked platform it has, but that it has ignored companies telling them of this and just removed the “top” app today because of publicity.

    Devin Prater Assistive Technology Instructor certified by World Services for the Blind JAWS certified


    1. I just meant in terms of security. As far as allowing software from so-called “unknown developers” and making upgradable/repairable hardware, I wholeheartedly agree that they should have “no walls, no borders” – which is why I’m switching over to Linux full-time once I’ve got the cash for a nice new machine. Well, and once I finally decide between a laptop and a desktop. And if I go with a desktop, I’ve been thinking about going with AMD for the CPU because they’re looking pretty good right now. But if I got with a laptop, I’ll probably go with a Lenovo Y720.

      1. Oh, quit it will ya jfblagden.

        You always come here to whinge about how you’re getting a PC. Although I don’t believe you, you just love coming here to complain. We get it, just go will you.

        As for Apple’s walled garden for Mac apps you know very well that you can install them from anywhere you like, they don’t force you to get from only the Mac App Store. Just go to System Preferences>Security & Privacy and tick App Store and idendified developers. If you really wish to install from an unidentified developer then you still can. Install and right click on the app and choose Open and enter your Administrator password, job done.

        As I said you know that already but you just like to come here and waste electrons and wear out your keyboard to people who don’t give a sh*t about you.

          1. Sheesh, NDW! Don’t you understand right-wing free speech principles. Let me clarify…

            People who want to be spiteful, petty or hateful are fine. Incessant whining is especially favored.

            But if you want to object to that – that’s not okay – ESPECIALLY if you want to mix in some facts like “Here’s how you do that.”

  2. So, where is this supposed professional vetting of each app in the Apple Store done? Like maybe at the zoo?

    It would seem like testing for some length of time would auto-record what data traveled out of the app over say, a day or two.

    Is that too much to ask Apple’s professional reviewers to do (or their automated tracking apps?

  3. Dr. Apps, Cleaner, AV, etc., are from TrendMicro which is a reputable AV company. So either something here is misunderstood, TrendMicro contracted out the App Store apps or they have gone rogue. Pretty sad. I don’t particularly use their programs, but I have in the past and thought they were safe.

  4. “supposed professional vetting”… Ohhhhh, nooooo, Apple has made a mistake with a few apps. They don’t have a 100.00000% perfect hit rate!!!!! Horrors!!!!!!

    Jeez! A helluva lot better than Androcrap.

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