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  (Source: ibtimes.com)
Flashback appeared in March 2012, and by April, it had infected over 600,000 Macs

Security software company Symantec released a report today showing that the Flashback trojan, which is infecting hundreds of thousands of Mac computers, could be generating as much as $10,000 per day.

The Flashback trojan, also known as Flashfake, disguises itself as an install Java applet on hijacked sites. When the user approves it, the trojan runs a piece of code that exploits a flaw in Java to remove OS X's anti-malware abilities. It then has the ability to steal clicks from ads on Google's search engine next to regular search results. Flashback installs alternative control programs, which turns Macs into bots. Meanwhile, the cyber criminals reap the benefits from the ghost clicks, meaning ad clicks that are not performed by a human, but by a bot instead.

Flashback appeared in March 2012, and by April, it had infected over 600,000 Macs. Despite efforts to eliminate the trojan, hackers are still earning fraudulent revenue from Flashback daily.

Symantec offered an example of a code that hijacked an ad based on a search for the word "toys." While Google should be making money on this ad click, the code redirects the click elsewhere, and the hackers receive 8 cents for the ghost click instead.

"It's now well-known that the latest OSX.Flashback.K variant was being distributed using the Oracle Java SE Remote Java Runtime Environment Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2012-0507), which was patched by Oracle in February," said Symantec. "Unfortunately for Mac users, there was a large window of exposure since Apple’s patch for this vulnerability was not available for six weeks.

"This window of opportunity helped the Flashback Trojan to infect Macs on a large scale. The Flashback authors took advantage of the gap between Oracle and Apple's patches by exploiting vulnerable websites using Wordpress and Joomla to add malicious code snippets."

The Symantec report was unable to come up with a definite figure regarding how much the hackers were making, but estimated that cyber criminals using hundreds of thousands of Flashback trojan infections could be making up to $10,000 on a daily basis. It came to this conclusion by comparing Flashback infections to the 2011 W32.Xpaj.B botnet in 2011, which consisted of only 25,000 Windows PCs that generated $450 per day. 

Just last month, computer security company Kaspersky Labs announced that Apple is at least 10 years behind Microsoft when it comes to security. With Apple selling more Macs year-over-year, cyber criminals are starting to notice these computers' popularity and target them with malware attacks.

Source: Symantec



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RE: Macs... nice target over PCs
By ritualm on 5/2/2012 1:22:47 PM , Rating: -1
The only time I'd ever consider 1366x768 is when it's on a 11" laptop. Ever seen that screen res on a 17"? Some mfr's do that. It's questionable on 13", and it only goes downhill from there. It's for that one reason I consider most of the Ultrabooks out there worthless and overpriced.

Unfortunately, we still get new entrants *cough*Sony T13*cough* who come in with premium pricing AND 768p.

The world is not black and white, and yes, I did quantify that "overpriced" remark, it's not an oxymoron like how you said it is. When I buy/build my computer, I don't go with the base spec, so all of your links are useless. They're cheaper than Macs... at what cost? Weight? Crap screen? Pair of 750GB in RAID 0? Get all that crap out of my face.

For the total eventual price of speccing that ASUS U31 to what I really want, I'd rather treat myself with a Transformer Prime with the keyboard dock! The best part? Those 1280x800 IPS screens on tablets look better than the vast majority of laptop screens out there, including more than half of ASUS's own laptop lineup. You lose.

G75? Not interested in Blu-Ray, and if it's going to be a DTR I'd buy a damned Clevo instead. You lose.

Quit with that "Macs are overpriced" BS.


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads














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