SAT News: Fireball Malware Infects Millions

explosion 123690A massive malware campaign dubbed “Fireball” has been discovered that has currently infected over 250 million Windows and Mac OS computers worldwide. This malware is an adware package that takes complete control of a victim's web browser and turns them into “zombies,” potentially allowing attackers to spy on their victim's web traffic and possibly steal their data.

Fireball is delivered via free software programs that can be downloaded off the internet. Once installed, the malware installs browser plugins that manipulate the victim's web browser configurations to replace their default search engines and home pages with fake search engines.

The following checklist can be followed to determine if your PC is currently infected. If your answer to any of the following questions is “no,” that indicates your computer is potentially infected with Fireball or a similar adware.

Open your web browser settings and check:

1. Did you set your homepage?

2. Are you able to modify your browser's homepage?

3. Are you familiar with your default search engine and can modify that as well?

4. Do you remember installing all of your browser extensions?

To remove the adware, uninstall the respective application from your computer using an adware remover software and then restore/reset your browser configurations to default.

Typically, a check box is hidden within the installation process that allows these tools access to install.

“Always be weary of installing freeware tools from the internet, these tools come packaged with all sorts of 'additional features' that can lead to this type of infection,” said Shawn Pope, Security Analytics Team member at Nuspire.


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