Stories of malware and spyware hitting the Mac are few and far in between, but you might want to pay close attention to this one. The security firm Intego warned today that a number of free Mac apps and screensavers are encumbered with spyware. While the apps themselves aren’t corrupted, the spyware is downloaded to a users system during the installation process and is called “PremierOpinion”. Some users, depending on the program, are prompted to accept a misleading pop up explaining that there will be a “market research” program installed alongside the downloaded app. If you agree to continue, then it’s game over.
Once installed, the malicious code, called OSX/OpinionSpy, scans a user’s files, records their online activity, and sends that information off to remote servers. As it stands now, all of the affected screensavers are from a website called 7art-screensavers.com, so you might want to steer clear of that. On a tangential point, does anyone really download screensavers anymore?
As for apps, Intego thus far has only found one app, called Mischlnc FLV to MP3, affected with the spyware.
OSX/OpinionSpy, while new to the Mac, has been around on Windows since 2008. But as the Mac continues to grow its marketshare, you can bet that malware warnings will become much more frequent going forward.