Symantec reports that the Mac Flashback malware that infected well over half a million Mac OS systems pulled in as much as $10,000 a day for its authors.
This malware, it’s said, bites away at Google’s ad revenue.
Here’s a portion of a blog post on Symantec’s site, it explains how the malware works:
The Flashback ad-clicking component is loaded into Chrome, Firefox, and Safari where it can intercept all GET and POST requests from the browser. Flashback specifically targets search queries made on Google and, depending on the search query, may redirect users to another page of the attacker’s choosing, where they receive revenue from the click . (Google never receives the intended ad click.)
The blog post goes into much more detail that we can go into here. However, they explain how the revenue could have been generated, and that they hijacked money per click, taking some of the money that Google should have been receiving.