Is this a virus or a use­ful app?

Mac Format - - MAC SOS -

Re­cently I helped my fa­ther with his iMac and I no­ticed MacKeeper in the Dock. Since I have heard very bad things about this, I ques­tioned him fur­ther and he con­fided that he had used BitTor­rent to view some films and that MacKeeper had “just in­stalled it­self”. Has he been in­fected with a virus and what should I do about it? Anne Gar­vey No, your fa­ther has been caught by a tro­jan. If he casts his mind back, I’m sure he will re­mem­ber that af­ter his tor­rent down­load com­pleted, a pop-up mes­sage prompted him for his pass­word in or­der to in­stall the video or a player for it. OS X dis­plays that mes­sage to stop third-party apps in­stalling them­selves. Of course, if you man­u­ally au­tho­rise it, OS X will al­low the soft­ware to in­stall and run. While a Tro­jan could the­o­ret­i­cally do just about any­thing once it is in­stalled, in prac­tice the worst that nor­mally hap­pens on a Mac is some ad­ware.

MacKeeper is rather in­fa­mous, and has been ac­cused of un­scrupu­lous mar­ket­ing and mak­ing ex­ag­ger­ated claims. It doesn’t do any­thing you ac­tu­ally need. Re­mov­ing it is easy: drag it from /Ap­pli­ca­tions to the Trash. If your fa­ther has run its scan­ner, he should trash the MacKeeper Helper folder lo­cated in ~/Li­brary/Ap­pli­ca­tion Sup­port.

MacKeeper cer­tainly doesn’t do any­thing worth pay­ing money for, but it’s easy to re­move.

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