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Mac malware: Flackback hackers fail to cash in

16 May 2012 2,843 views 3 Comments

Why did hackers create the Flashback trojan and systematically seek out and infect more than 600,000 Macs? Of course, they did it for profit and it was speculated hackers could be making $10,000 a day from the resulting botnet. Intentions, however, haven’t translated into cash in the bank.

Symantec is reporting that the gang behind the FlashBack trojan have failed on multiple levels to profit from their creation. First of all, of the hundreds of thousands of infected Macs, only 2 percent harbor the advertising component, which is the most direct vector for profiting from their work.

Their other prat fall has been turning hijacked advertising clicks into cash.

“Many [pay per click] providers employ anti-fraud measures and affiliate-verification processes before paying,” writes Symantec. “Fortunately, the attackers in this instance appear to have been unable to complete the necessary steps to be paid.”

So, although the FlashBack gang has attracted $14,000 in paid clicks that hasn’t translated into money they can spend.

That said, I imagine the bloggers covering the story made more, a lot more than the hackers.


via Ars Technica

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