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MacScan

Is your Mac worth 43 cents? I ask because apparently that's what some Russian criminals are willing to pay for an infected Mac. You should be pleased that you invested wisely - it seems that the going rate for Windows infections is much less.

Are Macs worth more because they are harder to infect? I doubt it - in the case of this bounty, the infection is through willingly downloaded and installed trojans, so infection resistance is unimportant. No, it's probably just simple recognition that Mac owners probably are more "upscale" as a group and therefore worth more. So really, it's not your Mac that is worth 43 cents, it's you.

A bit insulting, isn't it?

Anyway, Symantec and McAfee and all the rest have been trying to convince Mac folks that we need anti-virus software. That's been a tough sell, because plainly we do not - at least not yet anyway. But trojans? Hmmm.. heck, any of us can be fooled, right? And legitimate sites can themselves be compromised and their software perverted to carry along a nasty passenger. We'd probably find out about the latter fairly quickly, but it could cost us a bit more than 43 cents.

Enter MacScan. MacScan scans for spyware, including keystroke logging programs, trojan horses, dialer programs, and remote control applications. It's not an IDS, it's a signature scanner. That is, consults a database of known threats and looks for them on your system.

I really have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it's only $29.99 and that seems to be a one time price - no yearly subscription. On the other hand, do we really need this? It does have some other features like easily selectively removing cookies and web cache files, but that's not worth $29.99. The trojan scanning is worth much more than that if it actually caught a trojan on your machine, but what are the chances of that? Pretty slim, I think.

If you think that would be like throwing $29.99 in the trash, well, I'm not going to argue with you. It might well be.



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Sun Mar 21 08:22:28 2010: 8247   Michiel

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Well, they sure have distracting ads. I could hardly keep my eyes on the article.





Sun Mar 21 12:11:40 2010: 8248   AndrewSmallshaw

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It seems an interesting marketing strategy: buying this produce is like throwing your moeny away. If you want to buy it....

Agree with Michiel about the ads though. There seems to be an unwritten rule in online advertising: the more desperately an ad attracts attention the less it is worth bothering with. Companies can't have it both ways: they can put out ads like that or they can cry foul when they get Adblocked. Trying to do both is having your cake and eating it.



Sun Mar 21 12:41:44 2010: 8249   TonyLawrence

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Agreed. I've been seeing them and decided to check it out.

I just can't wrap my head around this being needed. I see from Googling that some disagree, so I could be dead wrong, but..

I did install it on my Mac. As I expected, it found nothing but what it calls "tracking cookies". So? Big deal - a cookie. It also has that browser cleaning stuff. I suppose that's convenient for someone like me who uses multiple browsers - if I WANTED to clean them all up at once, this would be nice. But why would I want to do that?

So there it is - I just don't get it :-)







Fri Mar 26 08:08:37 2010: 8269   YankDownUnder

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I'm sorry - I can't see either rhyme or reason for an AV product on BSD (MacOS Darwin) unless you're running MacOS as a file server/email server - then and only then are you doing so for the fact that MS Windows machines are connecting to you or grabbing email from you. Otherwise, what - are they joking? Are all the big dogs (Symantec and McAfee and the likes) going to just play the waiting game until Mac users get to the point of not realising they're running UNIX and then slam them with all the marketing and advertising they can? And then, are Mac users (not sysadmins) going to actually fall for this? C'mon.



Fri Mar 26 11:19:42 2010: 8271   TonyLawrence

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I think we all feel the same way - though this is not A/V, it's anti-trojan and Macs are just as susceptible to trojans as anything else.



Fri Mar 26 11:41:03 2010: 8272   TonyLawrence

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Funny, I just came across this Arstechnica post:

"Idiot users still intentionally opening, clicking on spam"

(link)

Most interestingly, they said:

Strangely, the demographic most guilty of doing all this is not the older, less-Internet-experienced group of parents and grandparents. According to Ipsos, men and those under the age of 35 are the most likely to engage in risky e-mail behavior







Fri Mar 26 12:17:15 2010: 8273   TonyLawrence

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Will we EVER have secure browsers?

(link)

Hacked: Safari on Mac, IE8, Firefox and iPhone. All just from drive-by (visiting a malicious website).

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