Raid on Russian Firm May Have Taken Down MacDefender Malware

MacDefender was the most significant malware attack on the Mac in years, if ever. The threat started in May, infecting many less-savvy Mac users, and had become widespread enough that Apple was forced to release a special anti-malware security fix. The software would be downloaded when users visited certain websites and, once installed, looked to be legitimate anti-virus software. Unsuspecting users would get warnings of viruses infecting their system. By entering their credit card number, users could pay to "remove" the viruses.

Except it was all fake. There were no viruses, just a piece of software trying to trick users into handing over their credit card numbers.

macdefender dialog box
The hidden developer behind MacDefender continued to release new variants of the malware into the wild, resulting in a cat-and-mouse game as Apple continued to ban new variants of the software.

Then, one day, MacDefender simply disappeared. Richard Gaywood, at TUAW, pointed out that Apple hadn't updated its malware definitions -- the code designed to kill MacDefender -- since June 18.

Brian Krebs might have the answer:

On June 23, Russian police arrested Pavel Vrublevsky, the co-founder of Russian online payment giant ChronoPay and a major player in the fake AV market.

[...]

In May, I wrote about evidence showing that ChronoPay employees were involved in pushing MacDefender — fake AV software targeting Mac users. ChronoPay later issued a statement denying it had any involvement in the MacDefender scourge.

But last week, Russian cops who raided ChronoPay’s offices in Moscow found otherwise. According to a source who was involved in the raid, police found mountains of evidence that ChronoPay employees were running technical and customer support for a variety of fake AV programs, including MacDefender.

The last release of MacDefender occurred on June 18. ChronoPay's offices are raided June 23. A coincidence perhaps, or Russian law enforcement saving Mac users from fake antivirus software.

Top Rated Comments

8ate8 Avatar
141 months ago
In Soviet Russia, anti-virus software....

No, I'm not gonna go there...
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacRohde Avatar
141 months ago


Maybe I'm being too harsh, but anyone that falls for the old "YOU HAVE VIRUSES!!! Give us your credit card number and we'll get rid of them!" trick deserves what they get.

Yeah, you are absolutely being too harsh.

Just because you are a bit trustworthy and/or naive - or just very new to the world of computers - does not mean you "deserve what you get".
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GenesisST Avatar
141 months ago
Thank god Vladimir Poutine was infected unless this would have never happened :p

Now I'm hungry...

Poutine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poutine
Putin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Putin
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
D 5 Avatar
141 months ago
It was Apple's screte service i tell you :D
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tom8 Avatar
141 months ago


In Soviet Russia, anti-virus software....

No, I'm not gonna go there...

In Soviet Russia, malware...oh screw it, I'm just happy to see them arrested.

I'll do it for you two


In Soviet Russia, anti-virus software infects you!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ryth Avatar
141 months ago
THROW AWAY THE KEY... or shoot them.

Siberia baby!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
studio display 3

Apple's Rumored 27-Inch Mini-LED Display Now Said to Launch in October

Friday May 20, 2022 8:07 am PDT by
Apple now plans to release a new 27-inch display with mini-LED backlighting in October due to the Shanghai lockdown, which has resulted in production of the display being delayed, according to display industry consultant Ross Young. In a tweet, Young said Apple is in the process of moving production of the display from Quanta Computer to a different supplier and/or location, resulting in a...
HomePodandMini feature green

Kuo: Apple to Release New HomePod in Late 2022 or Early 2023

Friday May 20, 2022 8:55 am PDT by
Apple is working on an updated version of the HomePod that could come in the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo says that there "may not be much innovation in hardware design" for the new HomePod, and there is no word on what size the device will be and if it will be a HomePod mini successor or a larger speaker. Apple would ...
airtag purple

Best Apple Deals of the Week: Save on AirTag, AirPods 3, and iPads

Friday May 20, 2022 8:01 am PDT by
Solid markdowns on the AirTag, AirPods 3, and a few iPad models were introduced this week, and below you'll find all of the best deals of the past few days that are still available to purchase. AirTag Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. What's the...