Apps on the App Store May Pose More Security Threat Than People Thought

Apps and Software

Certain apps on the App Store attempts to access the home directory of the owners device gathering data for their analytics servers when an app is being downloaded / Photo by Bloomua via 123rf.com

 

Downloading on the Apple App Store all the apps you fancy or those promising to make your gadget perform better may not be such a good idea. The reason for this is because there is an ongoing trend of certain apps on the App Store that attempt to access the home directory of the owner’s device when they claim that they will clean up caches or scan for viruses, and so on. They do this so that they can gather data, particularly from the browsing history, and put them in their analytics servers.

One example of this is some apps currently being distributed by a company claiming to be “Trend Micro, Inc.” These include Dr. Cleaner and Dr. Unarchiver. This issue came to light when a user reported this concern on the Malwarebytes forum, a site dedicated to locate and show different applications and software that may add malware to anyone’s computer. When researchers dug deeper into the issue, they found out that the apps that were produced by “Trend Micro, Inc.” collect each user’s browser history from their web browser (Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox) and upload them to their servers. These apps were also discovered to collect data about other apps that are also installed on the device. The information gathering immediately happens once the apps are launched on the gadget.

This is a serious breach of privacy and Apple is expected to take action on these kinds of apps as soon as possible. This level of invasion is usually not associated with the App Store, and more in-line with the Google Play Store as the Android platform has more freedom and reach than the more restricted apps for the iOS.

Nevertheless, it pays to remain cautious on everything you download to your gadget as they may be a gateway for unscrupulous companies to access your personal information.

Currently, Dr. Unarchiver is the 12th most popular app on the American Mac App Store.