A new report shows once again that Mac computers are just as vulnerable to malware as any Windows PC. Astoundingly, the biggest threat could come from where you might least expect it: the Mac App Store.
Privacy specialist and software developer Felix Krause says third party applications can collect information on everything users do on a Mac, regardless of whether they are running in the foreground or background.
In the report, Krause sets out how just about any Mac app can use a developer feature in macOS to take screenshots of your device at any given moment. Mac computers have no built-in alert when an app is taking a screenshot.
Krause also reveals that when combining screenshots with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software one can read almost any text on the screen. Data thieves might, for example, use this weakness to read your emails, steal account login details and even obtain screen shots of your bank statements.
Krause apparently reported this to Apple three months ago, but no patch has been released yet. As a Mac owner, there’s not much you can do for the time being. Krause does, however, show a few ways to patch the issue.
Apple should, of course, fix the carte blanche manner in which its operating system grants screenshot privileges to apps without asking or even informing the device’s owner.
However, until the company permanently resolves this problem, there’s little Mac owners can do to reduce their risk. The only 100% fool-proof solution would be to stop using third-party apps completely. If that is not possible, only download apps from trusted sources, and manually quit each app when it’s no longer in use.
Hopefully, that will help to safeguard your computer until the Cupertino-based company officially fixes the problem.