Fireball Malware Turns Popular Browsers Into Zombies

Fireball Infected 250M Devices Worldwide

A new form of malware that originated in China has been found infecting 250 million devices around the globe.  A majority of the victims have been located in India, Brazil and Mexico.  This malware has been dubbed “Fireball” and essentially turns web browsers into zombies.  So, here’s how it goes — first you must download the software.  But — who would download malicious software?  People who don’t know they’re doing it.

According to Fortune, this malware is included within free software downloads.  Therefore, when users are downloading free programs, they are agreeing to download Fireball too.  Once installed, it will turn your browser into a malicious look-alike version of the Google or Yahoo browsers.  While you’re using the zombie browser, it collects personal data from the user.  From there the hackers can sell this personal data.  Or, if they want, they could even continue to install and infect your PC remotely with additional forms of malware.

Prevention

First, users need to understand what they’re installing.  Too often, users get click happy during the installation process.  Therefore, instead of actually reading the end-user license agreement, or the other programs that are being installed along with the free software, they click “Next”, “Yes”, “I agree”, etc. without giving it a second thought.

Users also must have a security solution in place that will prevent potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) from installing on your computer.  Users should also use a security solution that implements application whitelisting.  This means, if a program, such as Fireball, attempts to execute it will be scanned first to be sure it has been tested and proven safe.  If it hasn’t, like in this case, it will be blocked.

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3 thoughts on “Fireball Malware Turns Popular Browsers Into Zombies

  1. I was looking for recipes, when a red rather large box popped up. IIt said call Microsoft immediately. You have been attacked. Call this number. The person who answer said my computer was locked up and I needed to let them fix it. Assuming I was talking to Microsoft, I let them in. Once in they said it would cost $149.99, then I said who is this are you Microsoft? No we are a contractor for them. I reluctantly paid and they cleaned my computer and added their software. After it was working, I started to look around and my recovery dates were totally cleared. I was so suspicious, I didn’t access any of my favorites or downloaded software. I called credit card and had them canceled the payment and the called the company, who agreed to cancel and they told me to delete their software. I did now computer won’t start or access windows it keeps asking for a start up password. It is frozen. Will have replace hard drive and download Windows 10. The companies name is Protechaid. I believe they infected that website with their number in order to get business. Where can I report this ?

  2. If people are going to be caught out by this sort of PUP.
    Then they need much more direct help than you provide here.
    For example how long do you think the non-geeky types can afford tp spend looking for and/or understanding:
    ” use a security solution that implements application white-listing.”?.
    And why do you not recommend Unchecky ( https://unchecky.com/ ), a brilliant program that provides guards against over enthusiastic box ticking.

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