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MacKeeper Utility Infects 50% Of Macs With Malware

Published: March 20, 2023 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.



There’s something a bit rotten about a popular Apple utility software suite called MacKeeper. Since its release in 2010, the all-in-one security and optimization utility has had a troubled past. But it’s what MacKeeper allows that now has users concerned: It accounts for nearly 50% of all MacOS infections due to hacker intervention using malware.


Currently owned by Clario Tech, their “do-it-all” utility has eleven tasks benefitting MacOS users, including security functions like an antivirus solution and an adware cleaner. Elastic Security Labs discovered the unusually high level of Mac infections linked to using MacKeeper. Cybercriminals love using popular programs to install malware, and it’s clear that MacKeeper is one of them.


Even the once-popular multimedia software platform, Adobe Flash, dead and buried in the technology graveyard for over two years now, is still being used to infect devices. Should you still be using Flash, know that updates are a thing of the past. It’s important to remember that any claim of something “new” to do with Flash comes from sources looking to compromise your device.


To Keep or Not to Keep MacKeeper


The question now is whether to remove MacKeeper from your Mac device or to keep using it. The answer depends on user awareness of the malware issue, taking effective security steps, and whether the benefit of using it outweighs the risks. As it currently is with Adobe Flash, getting rid of MacKeeper from your device may not be your preference, but know it’s an option.


At the heart of MacKeeper’s exploitation are the extensive permissions needed for its many different functions. Bad actors find ways to infect devices by abusing those permissions, but there are ways to help keep your device protected from MacKeeper intruders. Below are tips to help make that happen.


  • Always download software from the manufacturer and from the official app stores. Both Apple and Google app stores scan for malware before making software available to the public, including for software updates. Third-party sources aren’t as diligent about scanning for malware, so downloading or “sideloading” apps from unofficial sources is riskier and never recommended.

  • Use MFA (multi-factor authentication) whenever possible. Whether it’s a two-step process or more, it’s an effective way to bolster device security. Each step adds a layer of protection and can be as simple as inputting a randomly generated numerical code, fingerprint, or facial recognition.

  • Keep all system software, apps, and all other programs updated or patched as soon as they are available. Most updates include fixes for security bugs, and the latest patches provide the best solutions for these flaws.


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