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Trend Micro apologizes for uploading copies of your browsing history

13 September, 2018, 13:13 | Author: Lydia Fleming
  • To many the app hardly looked suspicious having received more than 7,200 ratings- many of which gave it five stars. It was listed next to other utility apps like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro X

However, despite running as an anti-malware and anti-adware product, the Mac application was also found to be engaged in some rather dubious activities.

The apps reportedly collect and upload browser history to their servers in China whilst gathering information from other apps installed on iOS systems. It exports your entire browser history, along with data from the App Store and other information.

Recently, Apple's App Store has removed several apps developed by Trend Micro, including Dr.

When it comes to Apple, the company is supposedly quite particular about the data of their users that is collected by third-party apps.

Apps from a well-known cyber-security firm were taken down from the Mac app store by Apple after they were found to export users' browser histories.

Security researcher Patrick Wardle, a former NSA hacker and now chief research officer at cybersecurity startup Digita Security, dug in and shared his findings with TechCrunch. The browser history data was uploaded to a US-based server hosted by AWS and managed/controlled by Trend Micro. However, it looks that Apple does a miserable job sometimes when checking all submitted applications.


This day, we're talking namely concerning the apps dispensed by a developer who claims to be "Pattern Micro, Inc.", which consist of Dr. Unarchiver, Dr. While it's not uncommon to hear of unsafe apps slipping into Google's Play store, it's almost unheard of for Apple to face the same fate. The process of stealing user data starts after unzipping the app and the user seeing an offer to "Quick Clean Junk Files". The information was shared vis "adscan.yelabapp.com" as a part of zipped filed which is called as "history.zip".

Since its approval, Adware Doctor has managed to get itself a number of excellent but fake reviews on the Mac App Store. "This includes the one-time 24 hour log of browser history held for three months and permitted by users upon install".

Trend Micro specializes in computer security software.

The app was not free on the App Store and came with a price tag of $5.

Finally, the company identified what it claimed to be a "core issue which is humbly the result of common code libraries", learning the data collection functionality was designed the same across all of its apps regardless of whether this was necessary for the app to work. Apple has not made a public statement, and it did not respond to requests for comment at the time of this post.

Thomas Reed, the developer of Malwarebytes for Mac, chimed in on the thread confirming the unethical behavior and the connection between the two apps.

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