Cyber attacks are taking over the world like no other attack ever could and the damage caused is beyond measurable. It hasn’t been much time since WannaCry ransomware caused havoc all over the world and a new Fireball malware has already infected more than 250 million computers across the globe.
It is already known who is behind this Fireball malware – Rafotech, digital marketing company from China. The company bundles its malware with other products to install on the computers of the users who are careless enough to not notice what is being installed. The malware comes with digital certificates and files to gain the trust of the user and then the user’s information is used for company’s profit.
As many as 250 million Windows and Mac computers have been affected by this malware and the worst hit country is India. 10.1 percent or 25.3 million of the total infected systems are from India, followed by Brazil (24.1 million/9.6 percent), Mexico (16.1 million/6.4 percent), and Indonesia (13.1 million/5.2 percent). 5.5 million devices have been infected in the USA, i.e. 2.2 percent of the total.
CheckPoint explains in its report that malware works by changing the computer’s browser’s default search engine to a fake search engine. The queries are redirected to either google.com or yahoo.com, while the fake search engine can track pixels to gain access to the user’s personal information.
The Fireball malware and its plugins are to increase the ad revenue for Rafotech using these unethical practices by boosting its ad network through the fake search engine. The fact that malware can run any code on the infected devices means the company can take control of the computer and even access the confidential information of the user. It can cause greater damage if the Fireball malware could infect the networks of bigger companies and organisations.
How to prevent Fireball malware?
Remember that nothing is free in this world and if you are getting something for free, the provider is earning somehow in the form of advertisements and maybe even by unethical means. It is always better to stay away from freeware. Next, you can do is check the settings and extensions of all the browsers on your computer.
Get rid of extensions or anything else that you find suspicious or you don’t remember installing it yourself. Check if the default search engine is what you had set. Make sure your anti-virus software is working fine with its database updated to the latest one and is detecting malware or not.