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Dangerous ‘Fireball’ Adware Infects a Quarter Billion PCs- by Andy Greenberg

Adware that infects your computer to display pop-ups is an annoyance. But when it infects as many as one in five networks in the world, and hides the capability to do far more serious damage to its victims, it’s an epidemic waiting to happen.

The security firm Check Point has warned of a massive new outbreak: They count 250 million PCs infected with malicious code they’ve called Fireball, designed to hijack browsers to change the default search engine, and track their web traffic on behalf of a Beijing-based digital marketing firm called Rafotech. But more disturbingly, Check Point says it found that the malware also has the ability to remotely run any code on the victim’s machine, or download new malicious files. It’s potentially serious malware, disguised as something more trivial.

“A quarter-billion computers could very easily become victims of real malware,” says Maya Horowitz, the head of Check Point research team. “It installs a backdoor into all these computers that can be very, very easily exploited in the hands of the Chinese people behind this campaign.”

Read more: Dangerous ‘Fireball’ Adware Infects a Quarter Billion PCs

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