While enterprises across the globe are still recuperating from the massive “WannaCry” malware attack, security firm Check Point has warned of a new outbreak that has already infected 250 million computers worldwide with India among the worst-hit countries.
The new threat called “Fireball” is designed to hijack browsers to change the default search engine and track their web traffic on behalf of Beijing-based digital marketing firm called Rafotech, WIRED.com reported on Friday. The firm said it has found that the malware also has the ability to remotely run any code on the victim’s machine or download new malicious files.
“A quarter-billion computers could very easily become victims of real malware. 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,” Maya Horowitz, head of Check Point research team, was quoted as saying.
Based on analysis of its own network of clients, Check Point estimated that one in five corporate networks globally have at least one infection. “But only a fraction of those victims, around 5.5 million PCs, are in the US. Far worse hit are countries like India and Brazil, with close to 25 million infected machines each,” the firm said.
The new threat allows its administrators to turn their unwilling ad-revenue generation audience into a botnet, or to harvest credentials and other private data en masse. Horowitz said that the intentions of the developers are not only to monetise on advertisements and it looks like they want to have the opportunity to take it to the next level.