With the news that was revealed yesterday regarding Google’s decision to move users from their Windows based systems to Mac and Linux, it seems that the latter is the only safe bet for them now as a very high-risk piece of spyware/malware has hit OS X computers in the form of the ‘OpinionSpy’ virus.
Also known as ‘PremierOpinion,’ the spyware is being downloaded and distributed through the use of various free screensavers according to security firm Intego who have released a list of the screensavers that are currently being investigated, and have been found to have the spyware included.
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But what does this piece of spyware do? – If installed, the program is capable of scanning files to record user activity, and also sends information about the said activity to remote servers, which in turn opens a backdoor to the infected computer.
The spyware seems to have come from comScore, through their VoiceFive Networks subsidiary and if installed will scan all your personal information on all volumes withing the computer – from iChat, URL user data, browser information and all other private data. It will send that information to remote servers and email address that they currently have set up.
Even though by downloading these screensavers, they do mention “market research” in their Terms of Service, but not all.
But how can it be removed? – Even if the infected screensaver is removed from your system, the spyware will still remain and automatically update itself in the background. Of course, Intego would like you to remove the spyware by using their software, but you must pay for it.
If you want to remove it manually (and for free), you can follow these steps found here via Guardian.
Please also be aware that the MishInc FLV To Mp3 application has also been found to have this spyware embedded in it’s installation.
Was this guide helpful to you? Did you have the spyware and manage to get rid of it? Please let us know in the comments below.