Windows 11 will be released on October 2021 as a free upgrade for existing Windows 10 users. But bad actors have started using it as a lure to spread malware and adware through fake Win installers.
As there are many users who are eager to try out Windows 11, hackers are resorting to creating fake, malware-infected installers and preview builds for the new OS. Despite the official site being the easiest place to install Win 11, many people still visit unofficial sources to get their hands on the new OS.
Cybercriminals are also targeting users who are wishing to avoid joining Windows Insider program, where they would get an official installer. They lure users to a malicious website that presents them with a link to a malicious Win11 installer. The fake file’s size and structure are similar to those of the legitimate MS Windows installer.
According to a report by Anton Ivanov of Kaspersky, many of the fake Win 11 downloaders are carrying out harmful activities on the computer, such as installing malware payloads on computers, such as harmful software and running adware programs.
In one instance, hackers are offering an executable file called 86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator.exe. The size of the file is 1.75GB, which is mostly taken up by a DLL file containing useless information. When executed, a standard Windows installation wizard appears, but installs unauthorized software.
In another instance, the software shows a license agreement and installs sponsored software. Accepting the agreement means the user agrees that various malicious software will be installed on the device which can’t be detected by security tools.
For Windows 11 users who are not part of the Windows Insider program, Microsoft advises waiting till October and download Windows 11 from official sources.