Mac virus hits Google pocket

2012-05-02 11:27

kalahari.com

  • The Google Story
    Read and find out all about Inside the hottest business, media and technology success of our time Now R157.00
    buy now
San Francisco - A virus infecting Macintosh computers is picking Google's pocket by hijacking advertising "clicks", tallying as much as $10 000 daily, according to internet security firm Symantec.

A component of the widespread Flashback virus targets Google search queries made using Chrome, Safari, or Firefox browsers and directs people to pages dictated by the hackers, Symantec said in a blog post.

Those clicking online ads can be re-routed to websites of different merchants or publishers, with hackers getting paid the 8c or so that would have been paid to Google for the referral, analysis of the virus showed.

"Google never receives the intended ad click," Symantec researchers said.

"This ultimately results in lost revenue for Google and untold sums of money for the Flashback gang."

Update

Based on the hundreds of thousands of Macintosh computers believed to be infected with the Flashback virus, the amount of money raked in by hackers could climb to about $10 000 daily, Symantec estimated.

Apple in April released a Macintosh software update with a tool to purge Flashback from computers.

The threat appeared in September 2011 and Oracle released a patch to repair the vulnerability in February, but Apple delayed the update for its users, drawing criticism from security experts.

"The three month delay in sending a security update was a bad decision on Apple's part," said Kaspersky Lab's chief security expert, Alexander Gostev.

"If the Flashback malware is found, a dialog will be presented notifying the user that malware was removed," California-based Apple said at a support website.

Apple has also said it has patched the weakness exploited by the virus and is working to disrupt the command network being used by hackers behind the infections.

The virus took advantage of a weakness in Java programs, according to Apple.

Defences

The malicious software does its dirty work with directions received from computer servers "hosted by malware authors" and Apple is collaborating with internet service providers to "disable this command and control network".

Computer security specialists have warned that more than 600 000 Macintosh computers may have been infected with a virus targeting Apple machines.

Hackers tricked Mac users into downloading the virus by disguising it as an update to Adobe Flash video viewing software.

Flashback Trojan malware tailored to slip past "Mac" defences is a variation on viruses typically aimed at personal computers (PCs) powered by Microsoft's Windows operating systems.

"All the stuff the bad guys have learned for doing attacks in the PC world is now starting to transition to the Mac world," said McAfee Labs director of threat intelligence Dave Marcus.

Read more on:    google  |  apple  |  cybercrime
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Delft - 11:47 AM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ACCIDENT in the right lane before the Hindle Road exit
  • Tuesday Kuils River - 11:39 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - HEAVY DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.