Chinese 'Fireball' malware: 250 million computers infected world wide; here's how you can save your system

Chinese Fireball malware has infected nearly 250 million systems globally. India and Brazil are the worst affected countries in the world. Here's how you can save your computer from the attack

It is the season of malware attacks. After Ransomware attack and Judy malware caused a chaos in the digital world, computers across the globe have been infected by another deadly malware that is targeting web browsers and turning them into zombies (literally!). ‘Firewall’ malware has infected nearly 250 million computers worldwide, 20 percent of which include corporate networks. Data security firm Check Point was the first one to discover the threat and according to its analysis, India and Brazil are the two top affected countries in the world.

Here’s what you should know about the Fireball malware:

What is Fireball malware and how does it infect the computers?

Fireball malware works in two ways– it can run any code or program on the infected computer and it can manipulate the users’ web traffic to generate revenue for its attackers. It manipulates the infected systems’ web browsers to turn their default homepages into fake search engines, which in turn direct the user queries to Yahoo and Google.

The Fireball malware can not only download files, spy on the victims and run malicious codes on the infected systems but also steal private credentials and turn the infected computer into a malware downloading machine. What makes this malware more dangerous is the fact that once infected, it’s difficult to identify and even more difficult to remove it.

ALSO READ: Chinese Fireball malware: India among worst-affected nations in the world

Judy malware

Judy malware (Photo: Flickr)

Who is behind the Firewall malware attack?

Chinese digital marketing agency Rafotech is behind the Firewall attack. The company is also using other distribution techniques like– spreading spams, malicious freeware and buying installs to aid its cause.

Who all have been affected by the malware?

As mentioned before, India and Brazil are the worst affected countries in the world. While nearly 25.3 million computers have been infected in India, 24.1 million systems have been affected in Brazil. Apart from these, 16.1 million have been affected in Mexico, 13.1 million computers have been affected in Indonesia and 5.5 million systems have been infected in the United States.

ALSO READ: Judy Malware affects 36.5 million Android device; here’s all you need to know

How can I know if my computer has been infected?

The easiest way to find out if your computer has been infected is by checking the settings of your web browsers. Here are some of the key checkpoints that will help you determine if your system has been infected:
– Was your homepage reset?
– Are you able to modify your homepage settings?
– Are there any additional browser extensions that you didn’t install?

If you see a change in the settings that you can’t recall making yourself, it’s time that you give your computer a health check.

ALSO READ: All you need to know about the Ransomware attack

Firewall malware

Firewall malware (Photo: Pixabay)

How can I save my computer from the Firewall malware?

One of the simplest techniques would be to install anti-malware and anti-adware programs and scan your system immediately. Apart from this, remove any unwanted extensions from your browser and restore your browser to its default settings.

Follow these steps to remove unwanted plugins on Google Chrome:
Step 1: Click on the Chrome menu icon
Step 2: Click on Tools and select Extensions
Step 3: Select any suspicious add-ons
Step 4: Click on trash icon

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Follow these steps to remove unwanted plug-ins on Mozilla Firefox:
Step 1: Click on the Firefox menu icon
Step 2: Click on Tools tab
Step 3: Select suspicious Extensions
Step 4: Click on Remove

Follow these steps to remove unwanted plug-ins on Safari:
Step 1: Click on the Safari tab
Step 2: Select Preferences
A new window will opens
Step 3: Select Extensions tab
Step 4: Select any suspicious extensions
Step: Click on uninstall

(Source: Check Point)

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