An adware attack that's previously been a minor nuisance has the potential to quickly turn into a serious problem, a problem where a hacker can completely take over your computer, according to a cybersecurity expert. The problem is, it's really easy to become a victim.
That's because OSX.Pirrit is an adware attack. It's new to Macs but a version of it has been popping up on Windows PCs for years.
It's being spread inside Microsoft Office 2016, fake Adobe Flash updates, and other programs. You may not even know you're being victimized by a hacker.
They insert ads on websites, including pop-up ads, hyperlinked words inside articles, banner ads, and pop-under ads. Those are ads that you may not notice have opened until you start closing websites. Often, they open in another window.
This adware attack can be particularly troublesome if you're using a Mac. If you're using a Windows PC, odds are the Pirrit adware attack will just be irritating. You'll see a lot of ads.
However, on Macs, it's malicious. "OSX.Pirrit takes total control of your machine," said the cybersecurity researcher who discovered the bug.
These hackers could use a keylogger, for instance, to watch you type in logins and passwords for your bank and other financial accounts. Or, with total access to your computer, they can poke around looking for your ID and other information they can use to steal your money.