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Mac App Store Apps Can Now Spy On People

AApple Macintosh computers have a reputation for being immune to assaults from viruses, and, for a long while, it wasn’t entirely unfounded, if somewhat exaggerated. But Apple users might soon head for computer repairs in Perth or anywhere else, as it’s revealed that Macs everywhere are now vulnerable to viruses, same as other PCs.

Felix Krause, a notable privacy expert and software developer, reveals that the Mac App Store is now a security risk, as the third-party apps on the shop can now spy on people via their Macintosh OS devices, even if they’re just sitting pretty in the background.

This reveal, shared by Krause via a report he publish back in February 10, saying that any Mac app can now use features in Macintosh OS, which allows for screen capture of computers whenever desired. Not only that, but when an app utilizes that function, there’s no alert, no warning, and no limitation: as long as the app’s online, it doesn’t matter if it’s the primary app running, it can take pictures.

The real danger about this is the fact that Krause has learned that these screenshots are crisp enough to be used alongside Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software in order to read the text in them, which can then be used to steal passwords, read e-mails, and the like. Krause reportedly informed Apple directly of the issue sometime in late 2017, but there were no patches or actions taken to deal with it.

Which is problematic, as not even heading straight for a store to handle computer repairs in Perth or anywhere else will fix or block this problem: Apple itself is the only one capable of really dealing with the issue. Part of Krause’s report on the issue had suggestions on how to deal with the issue without removing the ability of third-party apps to take screenshots entirely.

For now, users can only work on what they have. For those looking to circumvent this weakness, should forego third-party apps completely. If that isn’t an option, apps from trusted companies should be the ones used, and users should ensure that they manually quit apps when they’re finished with them, preventing them from running in the background. Hopefully, users will stay safe while Apple works on an actual fix.