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  • 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.

    Source: Symantec
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Flashback OS X Malware Believed to Be Hugely Profitable to its Authors started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      Well I don't know what I've been doing right but I browse/download a lot of 'Pron' on a lot of forums/sites. Never once had a virus of any kind.
      Touch wood. (No, there is no pun here either).
    1. H4CK3R's Avatar
      H4CK3R -
      Anonymous Ops possibly...
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ambi_Valence View Post
      Well I don't know what I've been doing right but I browse/download a lot of 'Pron' on a lot of forums/sites. Never once had a virus of any kind.
      Touch wood. (No, there is no pun here either).
      tee hee (+1)
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      Well I feel like this is a bit obvious. Nobody takes more then an hour to create something that won't benefit them. Who would go out of their way to exploit software and upload viruses NOT to make profit.. Lol a bit ironic too considering most of us jailbreak.. And thats a non profit exploiter. (even though they do it for a reputation or possibly job)
    1. Mr. Russian's Avatar
      Mr. Russian -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mrteacup View Post
      Well I feel like this is a bit obvious. Nobody takes more then an hour to create something that won't benefit them. Who would go out of their way to exploit software and upload viruses NOT to make profit.. Lol a bit ironic too considering most of us jailbreak.. And thats a non profit exploiter. (even though they do it for a reputation or possibly job)
      Hackers make jailbreaks as a hobby
    1. jbardi's Avatar
      jbardi -
      I don't see how that would not raise flags with google when a customer, out of the blue, starts pulling in 5 figures in advertising. Unless it was spread over many bogus affiliate accounts.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Russian View Post
      Hackers make jailbreaks as a hobby
      And they benefited from it, no? First and foremost, THEY TOO use the jailbreak. There are of course the donations, and certainly the notoriety.
    1. Checksum47's Avatar
      Checksum47 -
      Quote Originally Posted by jbardi View Post
      I don't see how that would not raise flags with google when a customer, out of the blue, starts pulling in 5 figures in advertising. Unless it was spread over many bogus affiliate accounts.
      ^^^This...
      I cannot see google EVER paying out that kind of money for clicks. Cant their famed algorithms detect that someone is actually making money with clicks and shut them down and not pay them like Google does for all its legitimate customers???
    1. HCWHunter's Avatar
      HCWHunter -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Russian View Post
      Hackers make jailbreaks as a hobby
      Don't kid yourself, while some hackers might do it initially for the props and/or as a hobby, the Dev Team and other jailbreak hackers also profit from jailbreaking both from donations and through Cydia, app sales, and/or advertising. I have no problem with Cydia and jailbreak app developers making $$ from jailbroken iPhones, but their market would quickly dry up if they didn't keep finding new jailbreaks. The sophisticated jailbreak software has gone far beyond a hobby.