Trend Micro tools removed from Mac App Store over "data exfiltration" claims

Trend Micro tools removed from Mac App Store over

According to the security researcher, Patrick Wardle, the app secretly collects data, encrypts it in a file and sends that data to servers placed in China. The potential collection and use of browser history data was explicitly disclosed in the applicable EULAs and data collection disclosures accepted by users for each product at installation (see, for example, the Dr Cleaner data collection disclosure here: https://esupport.trendmicro.com/en-us/home/pages/technical-support/1119854.aspx).

The Japanese multinational firm initially said these charges were "absolutely false", but admitted in the same statement that a number of apps were indeed uploading browser histories as Apple had claimed.

Apple responded by kicking the offending apps out of the App Store, and Trend Micro started an investigation into the privacy concerns raised about Dr Cleaner, Dr Cleaner Pro, Dr Antivirus, Dr Unarchiver, Dr Battery and Duplicate Finder.

The app market for just about every platform out there is rife with developers who use nefarious techniques to trick users into giving them access to their valuable personal data.

Updated A bunch of Trend Micro anti-malware tools have vanished from Apple's Mac App Store - after they were spotted harvesting and siphoning off users' browser histories.

Hurricane Florence from space: "A no-kidding nightmare"
Storm over the Atlantic ocean "looks very bad", wrote in his Twitter the President of the United States Donald trump. Happy #FullDiskFriday! #GOESEast is keeping an eye on Tropical Storm #Florence from 22,300 miles out in space.

RevealMobile, a monetization firm that has previously been accused of over collecting location data through popular weather apps, is implicated in this research, along with 12 other data monetization firms. The data was sent to a US-based server controlled by Trend, the company said.

Hence, Apple will need to do plenty of explaining - particularly the part on how these apps were able to bypass the proper screen of submitted applications for the App Store. In response to this, the developers changed its name to Adware Doctor and that was how it got Apple's approval.

Wardle was reportedly alerted by Privacy 1st, so he investigated the app to check what it was actually doing, 9to5Mac reports. However, it is being said that the app had violated the company's "Data Collection and Storage" guidelines. After users launched the apps, the apps would gather information like browser history, create a zip file and upload it, according to the report.

'Trend Micro is aware of a recent scrutiny of some of our consumer applications, including our Dr. The question is whether or not significant media attention will be required to reveal other bad actors in the Mac App Store too, or if this series of events will change the vetting process.

In a report by the GuardianApp project, released earlier this month, 24 iPhone apps were discovered to be collecting location data.

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