You may recall that I was slightly confused when Intego published and then “unpublished” a list of screensavers published by 7Art that included the installation of the spyware that the company calls OSX/OpinionSpy as part of the screensaver installation process.
It appears that while I was in or travelling back from Cyprus – actually, spending a lot of time being unable to travel, but let’s not go there – Intego were revisiting the issue, possibly in response to a slightly unpleasant snippet of self-congratulatory security vendor bashing from the Guardian’s Charles Arthur. He was assured by 7Art that the program was harmless, that installation was voluntary and that de-installation was simple, and so assumed that Intego was scaremongering. (There’s an earlier, rather less aggressive piece by the same journalist here.)
However, Intego reported yesterday that while (according to Charles Arthur), 7Art had stopped distributing PremierOpinion, it has re-introduced it into the installation of some of its screensavers. Having taken a quick look on one of my test machines, I can confirm that this is the case, though the process does now seem to be closer to the optional installation described by 7Art (though there’s an ambiguity to the wording that I can’t say I like). I can also confirm that other security software also detects packages available from this site as adware or spyware.
David Harley FBCS CITP CISSP
Mac Virus Administrator