The year 2017 saw the discovery of an adware named “Fireball” by the security firm called Check Point. The said malware or adware had infected over 250 millions of systems including Windows and Mac OS all across the globe this year. The country which was worst affected by this Chinese operation was India along with Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia and United States being the other top countries that were affected.
Basically, Fireball was used as a Browser Hijacking Malware that got spread mostly via bundling with wanted program and used to change the default search engines and home page of the user to Rafotech Search Engine (Rafotech is a large digital marketing agency which used Fireball to manipulate the user’s search engine and is based in Beijing, China). The malware also collects private and sensitive information regarding the user and also their browsing habits. Fireball intended to redirect the users to specific web pages and making revenue through the clicks on the ads which were served to the users.
Based on the Check Point’s information, around 20% of the corporate networks were affected globally. There were around 11 arrests in the case by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Network Security Corps and the suspects are reported to be the employees of Rafotech itself. Three among them have worked as Rafotech’s Technical Director, Operations Director and President as per the reports of Chinese News Agency.
How to stay protected?
If you doubt that your browser has been hit by the Fireball for your browser has been manipulated and you are being redirected to Search Engine of Rafotech or you are being bombarded with advertisements without any intention or latest action, there are high chances that you might have been affected by it.
After you have found the adware, the Windows users should go to the list of programs and features and hit uninstall button on the application which is compromised. Mac Users should use Finder to search the applications and trash the suspicious file. Afterwards, trash should be emptied to delete the said files permanently from the system. Check Point also suggested the users to use Anti-Malware and Anti-Adware Tools and cleaners.
It is therefore a perfect time to review your security checks, tools, add-ons and extensions along with uninstalling anything suspicious that was unwanted. Check Point is definitely worthy of the applause as they brought into light such a massive threat that hit the world.
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