June 2, 2017 Last Updated 3:21 pm

Chinese malware infects 250 million according to Check Point

While the worst infected countries are India and Brazil, while 5.5M US users have also been hit, plus 20 percent of all corporate networks are infected, security vendor reports

The security vendor Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. has alerted web users of a Chinese malware operation that it says has infected over 250 million computers worldwide. “The installed malware, Fireball, takes over target browsers and turns them into zombies,” the company’s Threat Intelligence Research Team reported.

The malware infection is sourced to Rafotech, a digital marketing agency based in Beijing, and uses the malware called Fireball to take control of a user’s browser.

The signs of the infection are that the user opens their browser to a home page not of their choosing, and they cannot alter. Also, the malware installs extensions.

“Although Rafotech uses Fireball only for advertising and initiating traffic to its fake search engines, it can perform any action on the victims’ machines These actions can have serious consequences,” the company said. “How severe is it? Try to imagine a pesticide armed with a nuclear bomb. Yes, it can do the job, but it can also do much more.”

The goal of the infection is to collect user data. The bait is freeware installed by the user, lured by getting something for nothing.

India and Brazil appear to be hit the hardest by the malware, but according to Check Point 5.5 million US users have — and worse, 20 percent of all corporate networks may be, as well.

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