Want to download Windows 11? Be sure to go down the official route, or you may end up downloading something nasty.
As Microsoft begins its big rollout of Windows 11, scammers are hot on the company’s heels to take advantage of the situation. Fake Windows 11 download pages are making their rounds around the internet, and downloading one of these phony installers could leave you with a nasty virus.
How Scammers Are Abusing the Windows 11 Upgrade Process
As reported on PCMag, scammers are trying to trick people into downloading a fake Windows 11 installer. In this reported case, the scammer made their website look as close to the official download page as possible.
The downloaded file would only be a handful of megabytes, but when unzipped, it would expand to a whopping 753MB thanks to extra padding the scammers put inside it. PCMag believes this tactic is to make the file too large for scanners to scan, but it also makes the file look more like a legitimate operating system installer.
If the installer is run, it will infect the target PC with a strain of RedLine Stealer. As the name suggests, this malware scans your PC for saved passwords and credit card information and uploads them to the hacker’s database.
Fortunately, the website in question has since been taken offline. However, there’s a very good chance that more fake websites will pop up as Microsoft continues its Windows 11 rollout.
A New Windows-Based Threat to Look Out For
Scammers want their virus to spread as far as possible. As such, it’s not uncommon to see them using tricks and tactics that capitalize on current global and technological events to trick as many people as possible.
For example, during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, hackers sent out phishing scams related to the virus. And now the fear has died down, scammers are turning their sights to the new big thing in the technological world: Windows 11.
As such, as we move forward, there’s a good chance we’ll see more and more of these scams pop up. They may take the form of a fake Microsoft website, or they may arrive as phishing emails announcing that the victim can upgrade if they hand over some personal information.
Fortunately, there are lots of official ways you can download Windows 11 so you need not take a gamble on a suspicious download link. For example, we’ve covered how to upgrade to Windows 11 right now with steps that use Microsoft’s official upgrade path, so you can be sure nothing nasty lurks within.
Don’t Download Windows 11 Anywhere Else
As Windows 11 begins to roll out worldwide, scammers are keen to use the situation to distribute their wares. If you have the urge to make the upgrade, only do so through official channels and do not click any weird links or download things from suspicious websites.
If Windows Tech Support calls you, it’s a scam. But what should you do? Hang up, lead the callers on, or report them?
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