What it is: Adware Doctor, a utility for the Macintosh, was discovered to be stealing user browser histories.
Apple runs an App Store for all of their products such as the iPhone and iPad along with the Macintosh. The main goal of the App Store is to provide people with a one-stop shopping experience. A secondary goal is to give people security, knowing that all apps on the App Store have been curated by Apple.
Unfortunately, Apple can’t exhaustively test every app they approve. They simply test to make sure the app does what it says it will do and that it doesn’t crash. That’s why Apple sometimes slips up and lets apps into the App Store that violate their terms.
The latest example of this flaw is Adware Doctor, which claims to stop unwanted popup ads, but which really spies on the user’s browser history. Most likely, this isn’t the only malicious app in the App Store so the lesson is to be careful anyway. The App Store can block obvious malware, but they can’t always weed out the trickier ones that appear to work but do something else unexpected.
This isn’t Apple’s fault since there’s no way anyone can possibly examine all apps given the number of apps submitted for approval everyday. This just means the user has to be careful, even when downloading apps from the App Store. The bottom line is that nothing is absolutely safe, but at least the App Store helps limit the chances of finding and installing malware. Ultimately, security depends on you.