Does VUWER contain malware?


The short answer is NO.  VUWER does not, and never has, contained malware.


The long answer: if you are using Intego VirusBarrier on your Mac, it will incorrectly claim that VUWER contains malware called “RobSnap.A”.  (It is possible that other anti-virus programs are doing the same, but I have only been told about VirusBarrier.)  However, if you search on the web you will find no other evidence of any Mac malware named RobSnap.A.  To date, Intego has not explained what RobSnap.A is, or what it is supposed to do.


The actual software being flagged by VirusBarrier is Imagesnap, which VUWER uses to capture images from the built-in camera.  Both Imagesnap and VUWER are open source software, with all source code available for inspection.  In addition, the VirusTotal web site confirms that Imagesnap is free of malware.


In addition, if you are running McAfee Endpoint Protection on your Mac, you will not be able to install VUWER.  McAfee prevents the installation of Platypus, which VUWER requires for installation.  This is another “false positive”, as Platypus is a completely legitimate program.  Unfortunately, a malware writer used Platypus to create a Trojan called Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor, and McAfee incorrectly disables Platypus.


If you use McAfee Endpoint Protection, you must temporarily disable it until VUWER installation is complete.  Once VUWER has been installed, you can reactivate McAfee.