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The Economics of Malware

My clients frequently have a hard time understanding how money is made from viruses.

Flashback Virus Generates Millions

Symantec did a great study of the Flashback Virus that recently was found in over 600,000 Macintosh Computers. Part of the virus was loaded into Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers. It intercepted requests that the browser made for Google searches and redirected the results to one of their special pages which would generate ad-click revenue. That way, they got the ad-revenue instead of Google. The results were about $10,000 a day which probably generated about $3.5 million for that component of the virus.
The take away, is that viruses can be big business and entice major bad guys.

A nice article in ArsTechnica

The original technical Symantec Blog post.

Date: June 2012

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