Cyber criminals take $10,000 a day from Apple users

The cyber criminals who hit on the wizard wheeze of targeting the faith based security system of Apple into a botnet are coining in $10,000 a day, according to anti-virus experts at Symantec.

The money is created by picking Google’s pocket by hijacking advertising “clicks”.

Symantec said 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.

Clicking online ads are 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.

Symantec said that 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 each day.

Apple has patched the weakness exploited by the virus and claims that it is trying to disrupt the command network being used by hackers behind the infections. So far though its efforts have been to close down the site of a security company which found the virus in the first place.

Computer security specialists think that there are more than 600,000 Macs with the virus. The numbers of Macs which have the virus does not seem to be dropping. Part of the problem is that Apple can’t convince their users that they might be hacked, after telling them for years that using Apple machines protected them from all viruses.