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Deceptive Windows Update Pop-ups Expose Users to Malware Risks

Cybercriminals exploit fake Microsoft prompts, spreading Aurora malware via cleverly disguised pop-ups
By Elitsa Kaleva
May 15, 2023

Have you ever encountered a sudden pop-up window while browsing the web, claiming to be a "Windows Update"? Well, be on high alert! According to the researchers at Malwarebytes, an information security company, cybercriminals are utilizing this deceptive tactic to lure unsuspecting users into a dangerous trap.

These unscrupulous hackers have cleverly disguised their malicious intentions by creating fake Microsoft "Windows Update" pop-ups that appear on users' screens. These pop-ups mimic the appearance of a genuine Windows system update, complete with progress indicators, instructions not to turn off the computer, and even a prompt to press the "OK" button once the update reaches 100%. However, falling for this trick will lead to dire consequences.

The deceptive pop-up, once clicked, triggers the automatic download of an executable file named "ChromeUpdate.exe." Despite its misleading name, this file is far from harmless. It is, in fact, a disguise for the notorious Aurora malware, designed to stealthily steal the user's personal information.

It's worth noting that these fake updates are distributed through high-traffic foreign adult websites, where cybercriminals cleverly embed pop-up ads that masquerade as legitimate Microsoft "Windows Update" content. Unsuspecting victims, believing the pop-up to be an authentic system prompt, unknowingly initiate the malware download.

To protect oneself from such threats, it is strongly recommended that the user only downloads Windows update files from Microsoft's official update catalog website. Refrain from interacting with any suspicious update windows that may suddenly appear in the browser. Additionally, installing reliable anti-virus software capable of detecting malicious advertising activities can provide an extra layer of protection against information security threats posed by hackers.

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