updated 03:41 pm EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Maintenance app's suitability and functionality questioned by users
ZeoBIT and Kromtech, developers of the heavily-advertised MacKeeper OS X maintenance app, are facing a pair of lawsuits. The first, filed in Illinois in January, and the second filed recently in Pennsylvania claim that not only is the software suite ineffectual at performing tasks it alleges to do, it also erroneously finds every computer it scans to be "at risk" and in need of repair.
The Illinois complaint alleges that "ZeoBIT develops software that it claims will increase the speed, performance, and stability of a consumer's Macintosh personal computer by removing harmful errors, and eliminating privacy and security threats." The complaint adds that "ZeoBIT uses a common deceptive scheme to trick consumers into purchasing its MacKeeper software, which ultimately fails to deliver the utility ZeoBIT promises."
The lead plaintiff in Pennsylvania, Holly Yencha, purchased MacKeeper for $40. Her complaint states that "under MacKeeper's reporting algorithm, even brand new computers are in 'critical' condition and require repair by purchasing the full version." MacKeeper allegedly only "provides limited antivirus and firewall protection" but does little else. While malware exists for the Mac platform, there are no known viruses.
MacNN evaluated the package in 2010, and found that the Data Encryptor module did not function properly, and we weren't excited about the subscription service necessary for three services. However, our reviewers found that the majority of tasks the software set out to do were performed adequately. ZeoBIT at one point claimed to have 15 million downloads of MacKeeper, with a three percent return rate.