PSA: Mac users should uninstall Chinese spyware 'Adware Doctor' immediately

The malicious nature of the spyware was reported to Apple on Aug.14, it was removed from the app store Sept.7

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(Image by Pixabay user Boskampi)

(Image by Pixabay user Boskampi)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Mac users who are using the “Adware Doctor” application should uninstall it as soon as possible.

According to a news report published on Sept. 7, the “Adware Doctor” app is actually spyware that transmits your browsing history to servers in China.

The secret data collection and transmission of user browser history to China was discovered by a security researcher named Patrick Wardle according to his report entitled “A Deceitful ‘Doctor’ in the Mac App Store.”

The US$5 app was marketed as a way of clearing out cookies, caches and junk from computers, but it actually didn’t do any of that, and instead was collecting browser history and personal data and sending it to servers located in China.

Apple was reportedly notified by a Twitter user "Privacy1st" on Aug. 14 about the malicious spyware, however Apple did not take action until after the report by Wardle was released three weeks later.

“Adware Doctor” has since been removed from the official app store. Mashable has asked Apple for a comment concerning its lack of oversight in approving the application, but Apple has not yet responded.

“This case also makes you wonder how many other apps in the Mac App Store might be misleading users, pretending to be one thing even though they're actually spyware” notes the Mashable report.  

The report by security researchers on the technical specs and operations of the “Adware Doctor” spyware is available at Objective-see.com.