Intego, a leading security software provider for Mac, has discovered a spyware application that is installed by a number of freely distributed Mac applications and screen savers found on a variety of websites.
This spyware, OSX/OpinionSpy, performs a number of malicious actions, from scanning files to recording user activity, as well as sending information about this activity to remote servers and opening a backdoor on infected Macs.
OSX/OpinionSpy is installed by a number of applications and screen savers that are distributed on sites such as MacUpdate, VersionTracker and Softpedia. The spyware itself is not contained in these applications, but is downloaded during the installation process. This shows the need for an up-to-date anti-malware software with a real-time scanner that can detect this malware when it is downloaded by the original application’s installer.
This application that purports to collect information for marketing reasons does much more, going as far as scanning all the files on an infected Mac. Users have no way of knowing exactly what data is collected and sent to remote servers; such data may include user names, passwords, credit card numbers and more. The risk of this data being collected and used without users’ permission makes this spyware particularly dangerous to users’ privacy.
The fact that this application collects data in this manner, and that it opens a backdoor, makes it a very serious security threat for Mac computers, feels Intego.