Beware of malware even as Mac Defender details emerge

There's evidence the Apple scare over malware may not be over

Apple users are getting new details about one malware scare, but should be careful not to fall victim to another that may be lurking.

Security researcher Brian Krebs has tied the fake anti-virus software for Apple computers known as Mac Defender to an executive of ChronoPay, Russia's largest online payment processor.

There's evidence the Apple scare over malware -- software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems -- may not be over.

Apple users should keep an eye out for MacGuard, another piece of malware disguised as anti-virus software that, unlike Mac Defender, does not require an administrator password to install on your machine. Security firm Intego says MacGuard was created by the parties responsible for Mac Defender.

ChronoPay has also been linked with many other nefarious activities, including last year's BitTorrent scam that led downloaders to believe the RIAA and the MPAA were privy to their file sharing and wanted cash to make the problem go away.

The truth behind the Mac Defender malware scare was cracked through some old-fashioned cybersleuthing.

Krebs did a WHOIS search of the domains -- mac-defence.com and macbookprotection.com --that victims of Mac Defender were sent to in order to pay for the phony anti-virus software. Both domains were associated with an email address associated with ChronoPay's financial controller.

A leak of ChronoPay's internal documents last year, caught by Krebs, provided further ties between the Russian online payment firm and the malware, which may be hiding under different aliases, including MacDefender, MacProtector, MacSecurity and Apple Security Center, according to eWeek. The documents have also signaled that two new domains -- appledefence.com and appleprodefence.com -- were registered on May 20 to ChronoPay, evidence that the Mac Defender malware, which started its Apple-unfriendly onslaught on May 2, isn't finished yet.

Apple has released an official note on its help forums with instructions on how to avoid or remove the Mac Defender malware. Apple also promised an upcoming security update to OSX that should help eliminate the threat.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags malwareAppleonline securitysoftware tipsIntego

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brennon Slattery

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?