Dangerous Fireball Adware Infected 250 Million PCs Around The World
Fireball Adware: Unnecessary marketing ads are always annoying, especially when it infects as many as one in five networks in the world, and hides the capability to do far more serious damage to its victims, it’s an epidemic waiting to happen.
Just when the world was catching a breather for WannaCry ransomware, another one has come knocking at the door. A new malware dubbed as Fireball has infected millions of computers globally.
A Security Firm, Check Point has recently warned of the possibility of a massive outbreak. An adware called ‘Fireball’ may have infected over 250 million PCs around the world. It’s a malware designed to hijack browsers to change the default search engine, and track their web traffic on behalf of a Beijing-based digital marketing firm called Rafotech.
Maya Horowitz, the head of Check Point research team, said:
“A quarter-billion computers could very easily become victims of real malware, It installs a backdoor into all these computers that can be very, very easily exploited in the hands of the Chinese people behind this campaign.”
Who’s effected from Fireball Adware?
Check Point reported 250 million PC infection by looking at the Alexa traffic, but the security firms fears that the number is much bigger. There’s a possibility that they have missed some domains, and therefore undercounted. Based on analysis of its own network of clients, Check Point estimates that one in five corporate networks globally have at least one infection. But only a fraction of those victims, around 5.5 million PCs, are in the US. Far worse hit are countries like India and Brazil, with close to 25 million infected machines each.
How serious is the Hack?
Fireball installs plugins to boost the ad network for Rafotech’s bogus search engines, all this for generating ad revenue for the firm. That is not all; there is a possibility of greater wickedness as the malware can run any code on the infected device. It can lead to a wider harm as Rafotech could steal confidential information from the infected systems and install additional malware to run codes on the networks of big organizations.
Check Point’s Horowitz warns:
“Something behind this is fishy, and the intentions of the developers aren’t only to monetize on advertisements. We don’t know their plan, and if there really is one. But it looks like they want to have the opportunity to take it to the next level. And they can.”
How to be Safe?
The best option is to avoid such ads which are of no use and keep poping-up on your screen. But avoiding the ads is just not the only and best solution. Keeping your data encrypted and your original IP invisible is the best option. This can only be achieved with a VPN. A VPN provider that offer built-in ad blocker should be the first choice.
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