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Fireball Malware Hijacks Browsers Across the World

Malaysia Sun
go to original
June 4, 2017

A zombie attack has struck over 250 million computers across the world, infiltrating over 20 percent of corporate networks across the globe too.

According to reports, the malware, which is called the Fireball, is a form of malicious software developed in Beijing.

Fireball has the ability to manipulate web traffic to generate revenue from online advertisements, transforming browsers into "zombies."

While malware usually disrupts a computer’s operations, collect personal and financial data, display unwanted ads or gain access to entire networks - this particular malware is aimed at installing plug-ins and unwanted configurations to increase ad sales and collects a victim’s personal details in the process.

According to the cybersecurity firm Check Point, Fireball also serves as a "prominent distributor" of more malware.

The company said in its report, "This operation is run by Rafotech, a large digital marketing agency. Rafotech uses Fireball to manipulate the victims’ browsers and turn their default search engines and homepages into fake search engines. This redirects the queries to either or The fake search engines include tracking pixels used to collect the users’ private information."

After it infects the company, Fireball can spy on the online habits and private information of infected users - leading to significant security risks for networks and individuals.

The report stated that while 5.5 million computers (2.2 percent of global reported occurrences) have been infected in the U.S., India was hit hardest, with 25.3 million (10.1 percent) incidents detected.

Brazil was second most affected with 24.1 million infected computers or 9.6 percent of the total infections globally, while Mexico recorded 16.1 million infections and Indenesia recorded 13.1 million overall.

Check Point has stated, “Although Rafotech uses Fireball only for advertising and initiating traffic to its fake search engines, it can perform any action on the victims’ machines.”
A similar check of the web browser will reveal if your computer is infected.

If your computer’s homepage is unchanged and your are able to modify it, if your default search engine and browser's extensions look familiar, then the computer is safe.

Running a scanner will help remove adware and protect from future attacks.

Read the rest at Malaysia Sun

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