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Hackers pick Google's pocket with Mac virus


SAN FRANCISCO: A virus infecting Macintosh computers is picking Google's pocket by hijacking advertising "clicks," tallying as much as $10,000 daily, according to Internet security firm Symantec.

A component of the widespread Flashback virus targets Google search queries made using Chrome, Safari, or Firefox browsers and directs people to pages dictated by the hackers, Symantec said Tuesday in a blog post.

Those clicking online ads can be re-routed to websites of different merchants or publishers, with hackers getting paid the eight cents or so that would have been paid to Google for the referral, analysis of the virus showed.

"Google never receives the intended ad click," Symantec researchers said.

"This ultimately results in lost revenue for Google and untold sums of money for the Flashback gang."

Based on the hundreds of thousands of Macintosh computers believed to be infected with the Flashback virus, the amount of money raked in by hackers could climb to about $10,000 daily, Symantec estimated.

Apple last month released a Macintosh software update with a tool to purge Flashback from computers.

Read the full article here: EconomisTimes, Image: 123rf
Hackers pick Google's pocket with Mac virus Reviewed by Sartaj Husain on Wednesday, May 02, 2012 Rating: 5

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