If you read my stuff, you know I despise ripoffs. This week MacScan is being sold as part of the MacUpdate promo bundle, advertised as a 'security' program. Not much of one IYAM. Today I posted an updated review of MacScan at VersionTracker.com. I decided to provide it here as well:
Just to keep this issue hot on the burner:--
Much as I very much like the idea of what MacScan is 'supposed' to do, it FAILs.
1) If you want to detect all the 'malware' on your Mac, you have to run the thing OVER and OVER and OVER. One run is never enough. That's crap programming. And yes folks: I personally have been telling them this for YEARS and YEARS and YEARS. Then they do nothing to improve their detection engine. Instead they post friendly little notes asking for more feedback. Right.
2) Their list of Trojan horses has NEVER been adequate. Right now there are 4 types of Mac OS X Trojans with a total of 22 different strains. MacScan does NOT detect all of them. So what's the point?
3) It claims to find 'spyware', but there is NO illicit spyware for Mac OS X. Not a one. Everything MacScan detects is 'legal' spyware that is freely sold commercially or as shareware to be used by employers or owners of computers in order to keep track of where their users are going and what they are doing with their computers, particularly useful for parents who care about their children. Detecting such stuff can be very useful if someone has secretly installed one of these things on your Mac for nefarious purposes. But this stuff is NOT malware.
4) It is debatable whether tracker cookies are malware. At worst they are a violation of your personal privacy. So turn on the setting in your browser that prevents downloading 3rd party cookies and turn off the setting in Flash that allows any site to put cached data on your computer. You're done. That's for free. It doesn't require MacScan.
I seriously hope MacScan can actually, factually improve and become a useful product that does what it says. But for now it is junkware, not worth paying for, well worth ignoring in favor of real anti-malware applications like VirusBarrier, ClamXav, and iAntiVirus.