Security researchers have discovered a massive malware campaign that has already infected more than 250 million computers across the world, including Windows and Mac OS.
Dubbed Fireball, the malware is an adware package that takes complete control of victim’s web browsers and turns them into zombies, potentially allowing attackers to spy on victim’s web traffic and potentially steal their data.
Check Point researchers, who discovered this massive malware campaign, linked the operation to Rafotech, a Chinese company which claims to offer digital marketing and game apps to 300 million customers.
While the company is currently using Fireball for generating revenue by injecting advertisements onto the browsers, the malware can be quickly turned into a massive destroyer to cause a significant cyber security incident worldwide.
Fireball comes bundled with other free software programs that you download off of the Internet. Once installed, the malware installs browser plugins to manipulate the victim’s web browser configurations to replace their default search engines and home pages with fake search engines (trotux.com).
“It’s important to remember that when a user installs freeware, additional malware isn’t necessarily dropped at the same time.” researchers said. “Furthermore, it is likely that Rafotech is using additional distribution methods, such as spreading freeware under fake names, spam, or even buying installs from threat actors.”
The fake search engine simply redirects the victim’s queries to either Yahoo.com or Google.com and includes tracking pixels that collect the victim’s information.
Source: The Hacker News