Spider: Install, Configure & Scan (Mac)


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General Information

Spider is an open-source tool developed by Cornell University that can be used to discover personally identifiable information (PII) on a computer. Should a computer ever be compromised by an attacker, this information could be stolen and used for malicious activities such as identity theft, credit card fraud, and more. This article will describe how to install, configure, and run scans using Spider on a Mac system.

Download, Install & Scan

1. Download the Spider for OSX program from TigerWare. After downloading the program, mount the "Spider_OSX.dmg" file [A] by double clicking it. This should mount the "Spider_OSX" container [B] to your desktop.

Download files

2. Open the container and run the "Spider" file [A]. In the new program window that opens, click the "Run Spider" button [B] to run a scan of the current user's profile (this may take a few moments).

Spider files and Run Spider option

3. Once Spider finishes scanning, "spider.log" [A] will be created on the desktop (the default location of where the log file is created can be changed in the "Preferences" options - see further below). Open it to show a list of files [B] it detected as potentially containing PII. 

Scan Results and Spider log

Additional Details

By default, Spider for OSX scans the current profile of the user and any sub folders. If you save and access files outside of the "/Users/<user profile>" directory, then you will need to adjust the file path accordingly by accessing Spider's "Preferences" [A] menu in the "Files" tab [B].

Spider Preferences


2/1/2018 2:44:37 PM