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.
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.