Apple recently revealed a new set of rules that app developers must follow. From October, App Store developers will have to clearly and explicitly say just how users’ personal data is used, secured and shared in a transparent manner.
These new rules might cause one app developer, in particular, serious problems — as it appears that Adware Doctor, one of the most highly-rated anti-adware apps in the store, is secretly harvesting user data and sending it to China without consent.
Adware Doctor, an app which costs $4.99 to purchase, describes itself as software able to “prevent malware and malicious files from infecting your Mac,” and recommends purchase in the case of slow systems, web browser hijacking, and evidence of adware — including popups and unwanted ads.
The application currently holds spot number four in Apple’s list of top paid software. Adware Doctor is also the current top grossing application in the utility category.
However, according to security researcher Patrick Wardle, the app acts more like spyware than a way to protect against infiltration, as Adware Doctor “surreptitiously exfiltrates highly sensitive user information.”
In a blog post published Friday, Wardle said the app appears to completely ignore Apple’s developer guidelines as it covertly collects user browsing history and transfers it to a server in China.
A security researcher who goes by the name Privacy1st — as well as John Maxx on…