Top selling Mac App Store adware scanner stole browsing history without permission

Written over 2 years ago by IanDorfman

Users of the Mac App Store that have downloaded software based on how popular it is, take note. A popular piece of security software was just delisted for stealing information from those who downloaded it.

Small Adware Doctor iconAdware Doctor, the highest grossing app on the Small Mac App Store iconMac App Store in the Utilities category, had been collecting the browsing history of its users without any consent or notice. At the time of delisting, the app had over 7,200 reviews and a total rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. The app was discovered to have siphon this data a few weeks ago, but had continued to be at the top of the highest grossing Utilities list.

As Adware Doctor was anti-malware software, there are many alternatives. However, that does not change that this app, according to security researcher Patrick Wardle, whose findings were backed by Small Malwarebytes Anti-Malware iconMalwarebytes Anti-Malware, had bypassed Small macOS iconmacOS's app sandboxing in order to steal browsing data from users of Small Safari iconSafari, Small Google Chrome iconGoogle Chrome, and Small Mozilla Firefox iconMozilla Firefox.

According to TechCrunch, when pressed for comment, Apple did not respond.

Additional coverage:
The Verge