Look out! Fake Windows 11 installers are doing the rounds online
These fake installers install malicious programs on your PC
July 27, 2021 / 03:40 PM IST
Curiosity often gets the better of people and that is what threat actors pray on
Every version of Windows that Microsoft announces carried a lot of hype with it. People want to know what the next version of their primary operating system on PCs will be like.
This curiosity often leads to certain ill-informed decisions and that is exactly what threat actors are taking advantage of by releasing fake installers for Windows 11 infested with malicious software.
There are officially only two ways you can get access to an official Windows 11 build, either you have to sign up for the Windows Insider Program which will give you access to unfinished, preview builds of Windows 11 or you wait for the official release later this year. If you own a legitimate copy of Windows 10, then Microsoft will update you to Windows 11 for free via a phased rollout through the first half of 2022. Any other method is not official and must be considered dangerous.
Threat actors are exploiting people by distributing fake Windows 11 installers filled with malicious software. Kaspersky reported there are several fake builds of Windows 11 previews that have "something extra" embedded within the installers.
One build with the name "86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator.exe" with a file size of 1.75GB tricks people into downloading adware, trojans, password stealers and other nasty stuff including malicious code that weakens your PCs securities.
It is important that you only follow the official channels for downloading a Windows 11 preview if you have the itch to try it out. If you want to become an insider, just follow these simple steps:
- On a Windows 10 PC, head to settings, then Update and Security and look for Windows Insider Program at the bottom.
- Sign into your Microsoft account and click on Start Flighting.
- You will then be shown a privacy statement that you will need to accept by pressing Submit.
- Now select Dev Channel from the Insider Settings and you should be able to download Windows 11 preview builds.
Do note that currently Windows 11 has strict hardware limitations and only supports 2nd generation AMD Ryzen processors or higher and eighth generation Intel Core processors or higher. You are also going to require a TPM 2.0 compatible motherboard