What is a snake-oil program?
Source Stay Safe Online article
It's a phrase the author of the article has coined to mean "[computer] programs of dubious worth."
He is using snake oil in the sense of a hoax medicine. As the article explains, that term derived from a traditional Chinese treatment from joint pains that was ridiculed by Western doctors with their own patent medicines to sell. In time, the "Snake Oil Salesman" became a stock character of Westerns: someone travelling from township to township, selling a worthless concoction as some sort of miracle cure, backed by nothing more than misdirection.
snake oil n. 1. A worthless preparation fraudulently peddled as a cure for many ills. 2. Speech or writing intended to deceive; humbug.
Etymonline.com dates the first usage from 1927.