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 -- and --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 -- and -- 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 CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags online securityApplesecuritysoftware tipsIntegomalware

More about AppleIntegoMacs

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Brennon Slattery

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts