Flashback OS X Malware Believed to Be Hugely Profitable to its Authors
According to the latest estimates from security firm Symantec, the malware we've all come to know as "Flashback" likely helped its authors to break the bank just as their malicious creation was infiltrating and infecting an incomparably large number of Macs.
After probing the matter extensively, Symantec believes that the chief motivation that led to the malware was money. And money is exactly what the authors of FlashBack likely ended up with - possibly to the tune of five-figures a day.
"Flashback specifically targets queries made on Google and, depending on the search query, may redirect users to another page of the attacker's choosing, where they receive revenue from the click," the security experts believe.
Although Apple has largely succeeded (through software updates and other steps) in cracking down on Flashback and curbing its continued growth, there's no telling how much damage - financial or otherwise - has been done to Mac owners and even the likes of Google.
"Ad-clicking Trojans are nothing new and in an analysis of W32.Xpaj.B last August a botnet measuring in the region of 25,000 infections could generate the author up to $450 per day," Symantec asserts. "Considering the Flashback Trojan measures in the hundreds of thousands, this figure could sharply rise to the order of $10000 per day."
To check out the complete report and blog post from Symantec, click here