Popular apps are spying on Mac users

Macs – a lot of people still believe in the myth that they are safe since there is no malware for the OS of their choice. Sadly that’s just not true anymore and everyone believing blindly in this tale is at a bigger risk than any PC user. If you are still skeptical recent events should help convincing you: Some pretty popular apps where siphoning off and afterwards sharing users’ data.

Macs: Secure but not fool proofed

Apple claims to review each app before it enters their app store, which is one of the reasons why iPhones and Macs are touted as very secure. So far Apple has done a very fine job when it comes to keeping out malicious apps. Mostly. It seems like a couple of them have recently slipped trough though. According to https://9to5mac.com they come from a developer that claims to be a rather big popular security company. Claims like that make sure that users will be more open to trust “shady” apps and not question what they are doing too much.

The apps in question are Dr. Unarchiver and Dr. Cleaner amongst others. While the first one is supposed to unzip files, the second one cleans up your Mac and iPhones. They perform their tasks well enough but also do other work in the background – a lot more than you’d be comfortable with actually.

All your data are belong to us

According to 9to5mac they collect and upload a lot of data to the company’s server, including the full browser history for Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox, separate files specifically dedicated to storing the user’s recent Google searches on the same browsers and a file containing a complete list of all apps installed on the system, including information about where they were downloaded from, whether they are 64-bit compatible and their code signature.

Safari browsing history | Source: 9to5mac.com

That’s a lot of information that most users would probably not be comfortable sharing with anyone. Even worse: Dr. Unarchiver” is one of the top 15 most popular free app in the US Mac App Store.  That’s a lot of data from a lot of users.

Apps removed from the app store

As so often there are good news, too: Dr. Unarchiver and Dr. Cleaner have been removed from the Apple App store.  That doesn’t mean you should relax and be as careless as before. Apple is secure, yes, but there are of course always exceptions. Those exceptions are where it gets hairy. While Windows users are always prepared for something like this to happen, have installed Antivirus tools, and are generally more suspicious, this is something that might not come as natural to their Mac counterparts.

We can only advice you to be vigilant and only download apps from companies you’d trust and from which you know that they take privacy very seriously.

This post is also available in: German

PR & Social Media Manager @ Avira |Gamer. Geek. Tech addict.