There are multiple applications developed by Trend Micro, a security provider, that are no longer available in the Mac App Store after researchers have found them to be collecting browser history, and definitive information about users’ computers.
On Friday, Apple removed the Adware Doctor from its store, based on the exact same conclusion. The toal list of apps are Dr. Antivirus, Dr. Cleaner, and Dr. Unarchiver, all developed by Trend Micro, Incorporated. It is recommended that anyone using these apps discontinue their usage unless they wish to openly share this information, which is not secure practice.
The information was identified to be heading to the Trend Micro servers. Privacy_1st looked into the three apps from Tend Micro. They noticed that the apps had hardcoded strings that were used for exfiltrating different user information. This includes collecting browser history and data from the device that could be used to identify the user. The researchers say that the serial number of the machine and the version of the operating system were included in the exfiltrated details.
The method used by these applications (Dr. Antivirus, Dr. Cleaner, and Dr. Unarchiver) to upload user data to an external server is not singular, as Privacy_1 has noted. Adware Doctor and Komros Adware Cleaner, Open Any Files, and Adblock Master all rely on the same technique to lift the information from users as well. It is recommended to stay away from these apps for the time being. All of these apps are tied to Trend Micro, and a Chinese developer.
As of now, TriVault does not support Trend Micro and does not deploy the Trend Micro suites in any variation, but some clients do choose to use these products. We do not support this, even on other operating systems including Windows 7 and Windows 10.