Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Industry | By Johnnie Johnson

Trend Micro says sorry after apps grabbed Mac browser history

Trend Micro says sorry after apps grabbed Mac browser history

Wardle said Adware Doctor was the fourth-highest grossing paid application on the App Store, and topped the category of paid utilities.

iOS developer and 9to5Mac writer Guilherme Rambo found that Trend Micro's Dr. Unarchiver was also siphoning user data.

'For example, a sandboxed application from the Mac App Store should not be able to access a user's sensitive browser history.

Adware Doctor which sells for $5 on the Apple's Mac App Store has been revealed by security researchers to be nothing more than a spyware. Apple is making some privacy improvements in macOS Mojave which should prevent apps from stealing a user's browsing history but given how a company lays so much emphasis on the privacy and security of its users, this should not have happened in the first place.

Trend Micro Inc.'s apps have since been removed from the Mac App Store but the fact that Dr. Unarchiver nearly made it into the top ten most popular free apps on the U.S. store highlights the serious security threat that the app and others like it pose to consumers.

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Notably, most of the apps clandestinely uploading data were distributed by Japanese internet security company, Trend Micro.

Now it seems Apple has pulled the app.

Apple hasn't yet issued a statement on the removal of Adware Doctor from the Mac App Store. Apple has reportedly taken this step following the app's alleged data stealing.

As of this day, "Dr. Unarchiver" is the nº 12 most standard free app in the US Mac App Retailer. According to the security report conducted by security researcher Will Strafach from the Sudo Security Group's GuardianApp, popular apps such as GasBuddy, MyRadar, PayByPhone Parking and run tracking app C25K 5K Trainer contain tracking code and are responsible for the misappropriation of users' data.

Trend is removing this, er, feature from its software, though.

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The company said in its response that the Trend Micro apps were collecting and uploading "a small snapshot of the browser history on a one-time basis, covering the 24 hours prior to installation".

We apologize to our community for concern they might have felt and can reassure all that their data is safe and at no point was compromised. Eventually, Apple swung into action by deleting the app from its store following several other tech publications supporting this claim.

Trend Micro is taking customer concerns seriously and has made a decision to remove this browser history collection capability from the products at issue.

Initially, the developers of the application posted it on Mac App Store as Adware Medic. On technicality, the EULAs for these apps did disclose this behavior.

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