Security company Intego on Tuesday issued a warning of a new spyware application that is installed by “a number of freely distributed Mac applications and screen savers found on a variety of websites.” Dubbed “OSX/OpinionSpy,” the spyware does a number of things on the users system including recording user activity and sending information to remote servers. The spyware runs as the root user, giving it full system permissions, and opens port 8254 on infected computers.
Intego didn’t specify the apps affected, but said OSX/OpinionSpy was found in some free Mac apps and screensavers. The spyware isn’t contained in the apps themselves, but is downloaded during the installation process.
A version of this spyware has existed on Windows since 2008, according to Intego.
Update: Intego contacted me and said a list of the affected apps will be released tomorrow. 9:25 am PT