MacPaw integrates "SpyBuster" feature into CleanMyMac

Last time I gave you these SpyBuster App for macOS presented. This shows which programs on the Mac come from Russia or Belarus and / or use servers in these countries. In just two days, the app was downloaded over 25.000 times. Now the developers at MacPaw have decided to add a functionality similar to that of the SpyBuster app to CleanMyMac X to implement. For example, the Uninstaller module (a tool for completely uninstalling apps) now includes a new "Suspicious Apps" category that lists software from Russia and Belarus. CleanMyMac X is part of Setapp-Package with over 230 full versions of apps for Mac.

Abbreviation: Try app pack for free

MacPaw has now integrated features of the free SpyBuster app into CleanMyMac X. This can be used to track down macOS apps that come from Russia or Belarus and may store user data there on servers that can be easily accessed by the government. Details in this post.

MacPaw has now integrated features of the free SpyBuster app into CleanMyMac X. This can be used to track down macOS apps that come from Russia or Belarus and may store user data there on servers that can be easily accessed by the government. Details in this post.

MacPaw wants to protect CleanMyMac users from data theft

A few weeks ago, Russia started a war against Ukraine that had been initiated years beforehand – also digitally. I won't go into detail because this is a tech blog, not a politics blog. Also, I know far too little about the subject. But what I can tell you is that MacPaw announced that CleanMyMac and its uninstall helper have integrated detection of apps from Russia and Belarus. This is justified with more cyber security and data protection. Among other things, MacPaw refers to one University of Washington investigation, which was published back in 2018.

The content in brief: Software providers in Russia have had to host their data on Russian servers since 2016, to which the government has easy access. Data can be tapped accordingly and possibly misused. More details are also available on the MacPaw blog, in the current post.

CleanMyMac now shows "suspicious apps".

In order to be able to use the new feature, you may have to update the app (current version "CleanMyMac X"). Once you have installed the update, you can check individual installed software for its origin and server activities as follows and uninstall it if necessary:

  1. Opens the CleanMyMac X app
  2. Go to the uninstall apps module
  3. Select the new Suspicious Apps category
  4. Look at the information provided about the programs
  5. If necessary, uninstall suspicious apps

CleanMyMac X as part of the Setapp package

As you read above, CleanMyMac X is part of Setapp, an app subscription from MacPaw. In addition to the software studio's own programs, it also contains applications from other developers. For only 9,99 euros per month you get over 230 full versions of the app for macOS, without any advertising and with all updates. Of course, you don't have to install all apps at the same time, but you can choose exactly those that will help you when working on the Apple Mac. A wide variety of categories from finance to lifestyle are available for this purpose. You can browse all apps or search for individual programs with this link.

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  1. Lutz S says:

    I see Parallels

  2. ufo2010 says:

    Then I'll throw down the SpyBuster again.

  3. Bodo Schoenfelder says:

    It's kind of hypocritical. What about data theft from the USA, etc. NSA would be the keyword here. Good data theft vs. bad data theft?

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      I think every data theft is ugly. I think the CleanMyMac version for Russia should rather contain the variant with the American servers. But at the moment it probably bothers more people when the Russians steal data than when other countries do it. 😂

      • Lutz S says:

        You're right, the Ami is currently happy. But we're slipping ;-)

        • Jen Kleinholz says:

          I think it would be more politically correct if you could choose which countries you want to block traffic to. That would be a fair solution. But then, of course, there is the question of whether Ukraine belongs to Russia or is a country of its own. But I think that again depends on the country in which the programmer of the tool lives. ;-)

    • Florian says:

      In short, yes
      Of course there is no good data theft and the US data octopuses are not really that cool either.
      But fundamentally democratic country > aristocracy/democracy. Always.

  4. Bodo Schoenfelder says:

    Although Russian data stealers (currently) are probably not very interested in end user data. These are actions/reactions of moral hypocrites.

  5. Peter William says:

    Funny, I don't have that feature. And yes, I have the latest version of CleanMyMac...

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hi Peter! I have the Setapp version of CleanMyMac X and I couldn't find the feature in any menu either. There were no updates either, so I assume I have the current version. Maybe we're missing something?!??

      • Peter William says:

        I didn't buy a Setapp, I bought it directly. I put it off at first, but if that's the case with you with Setapp, I'm reassured.
        I have the new 4.10.4 installed and the information says that it has this new module.
        Soltsom, soltsom.

  6. Lutz S says:

    I also bought version 4.10.4, it's in there under Uninstallation/Suspicious programs

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Lutz! Thanks, that was the right tip. I can find it there too. 😊
      I would have expected it to be more prominent, but it's not really that important. But thanks to you I found it now!

      • Peter William says:

        I still can't see anything, which is probably primarily because I don't have any suspicious programs at all?

    • Florian says:

      4.10.4 has of course not yet arrived in the AppStore -.-

      • Jen Kleinholz says:

        Hello Florian! The App Store version is restricted anyway so it can pass Apple's "test". I would prefer to buy such apps directly from the developer without being restricted by macOS sandbox.

  7. Uwe says:

    NTFS for Mac is listed for me. For data exchange in the network and via stick I need this app on selected data carriers or partitions. Am I really at risk as a private person?

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Uwe! I don't think so... the question is always what is "up for grabs" from you. If you're not anti-regime or otherwise interesting person for Russia, then I wouldn't worry. I think Facebook, Google and Co. would much rather use your data than Russia would at the moment. As a Ukrainian MP, I might be a little more concerned. 😊

  8. Jochen says:

    I see "ABBYY FineReader PDF" and "Parallels". Two programs with which I have to work intensively and are therefore indispensable for me as long as there are no good alternatives.
    Clean my Mac advises that state authorities in Russia can directly access my data without a court order. For me, the question arises as to why nobody was bothered by this before the attack on Ukraine. I've been using both programs for many years and if these government agencies wanted my data, they could always do it. So why should I bother or fear it now? I don't have anything to pick up that might be remotely interesting, although I don't want to say it wouldn't bother me. Any data theft, regardless of which country initiated it, should be condemned. The risks have to be weighed up. I have all the data that is important to me on my own Synology server, which I only run in-house and cannot be accessed from outside.
    And don't forget: no matter how much you protect yourself, it has been proven that there is no such thing as 100% security.
    There's no point in panicking right away.

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Jochen. I don't see it as scaremongering. The program only informs you and what you do with the information is up to you. One must not only think that the programs spy out personal information. Of course you can say: who should be interested in that. But you can do a lot more with your computer: start a DDOS attack on other computers or hack other computers. And here the goals are perhaps of an interesting nature...
      I also believe that this information from Spybuster has become more important, especially since the start of the Ukraine war - uh, sorry, since Russia's "special operation" - after all, hacker attacks or DDOS attacks on western targets have been common since the start of the Action has become significantly more exciting for Russia to harm the West economically. But you're right: don't panic. I still use ABBYY FineReader, but I probably wouldn't use Kaspersky anymore.

  9. Jochen says:

    Jens, you are of course right. I didn't want to downplay the danger either. When I commented, I had what you answered Uwe in mind, i.e. risk of data theft.

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