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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Fake Windows 11 installers can inject malware into your PC: Here’s how to spot it

A number of fake Windows 11 installers are surfacing over the web that attackers use to install malware on unsuspecting users' systems.

By: Tech Desk | Mumbai |
July 27, 2021 1:36:31 pm
Windows 11. Microsoft, Windows 11 release,The official way to install Windows 11 is via the Windows Insider program does not include '.exe' files. (Image Source: Microsoft)

Windows 11 is yet to officially release but a lot of people out there are looking to get their hands on the new operating system before that. This has resulted in a lot of people downloading fake Windows 11 installers that download adware, malware and possibly other malicious programs to your PC, a Kaspersky report claims.

Attackers have used the hype around Windows’ latest redesign for these fake installers, making these malicious ‘.exe’ files look legit to the unsuspecting eye. One such fake installer, named “86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator.exe” is a 1.75GB file that claims to be a Windows 11 installation tool.

The program, however, instead of getting Windows 11 to your desktop/laptop, will instead download and run another executable file that comes with a license agreement. Should the unsuspecting user agree to the terms in this license, the executable file proceeds to download malicious software onto the PC.

What to look out for?

Note that the early access Windows 11 update is available through the Windows Settings app on your PC once you sign up for the Insider Program. Any tool that is in an executable format (an .exe file) claiming to install Windows 11 is likely to be malicious so beware of such files.

Instead, if you actually want to try out Windows 11, head over to the Windows Insider page and sign up for the early access version. However, note that the new OS update is still in beta, so installing it on your primary machine, be it a desktop or a laptop, may not be a good idea right now. Instead, you can install Windows 11 on a secondary computer or in the same machine via a virtual machine if your system supports it.

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