As the FBI looks for the hacker responsible for the leaked pictures of the movie stars and other celebrities, most people are reading about how to protect your privacy especially from the cloud. Even though Apple insists that their systems were not breached, it’s always safer to look out for yourself when it comes to privacy.
We will be describing how you or a hacker can display your entire download history on your mac by just typing this one line command in the terminal. Mind you, download history here includes all the website you have ever visited and basically every request your computer makes to the internet including Itunes and everything you have downloaded. Follow the steps below to see how to works.
Launch Terminal from /Applications/Utilities/ and type in the following command into a single line:
sqlite3 ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.QuarantineEventsV* 'select LSQuarantineDataURLString from LSQuarantineEvent'
Depending on how old the Mac is and how much stuff you’ve downloaded, it can take a while to query the database and dump the results. You may want to pipe the results through “sort” to group the downloaded list into similar items or sources, that would look like this:
sqlite3 ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.QuarantineEventsV* 'select LSQuarantineDataURLString from LSQuarantineEvent' | sort
The output lists everything that has been passed through the Quarantine Manager, which for the last several versions of Mac OS X is quite literally every item downloaded to the Mac, regardless of the application it came from. The older the Mac is, the larger the list, and the longer the query can take to run.
Deleting the Download History List
For those who would rather not have an all-inclusive historical list of downloaded files, you can run the following command to delete the contents of the quarantine database:
sqlite3 ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.QuarantineEventsV* 'delete from LSQuarantineEvent'
You can run that individually, or place it into .bash_profile or .profile to clear the database automatically when a new terminal window is launched.