Fake Windows 11 Riddled With Malware

John Lister's picture

A security company has warned that scammers are using bogus copies of Windows 11 to distribute malware. Kaspersky reminds users that Microsoft's Windows Insider test program is the only place to get the real deal.

While the average user can safely wait until the system's official release, tech enthusiasts may be eager to get their hands on Windows 11. That interest may well rise in the coming days with the first release of a beta edition that, in theory at least, is complete and much less likely to crash than the currently available "dev" edition.

Kaspersky notes that several rogue sites are offering what looks like a legitimate copy. It's credible partly because of the file name (86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator.exe) and partly because of the 1.75 GB file size.

'Filler' File Gives Misleading Impression

However, a close examination reveals most of this size is made up of a single file that's bulked out by completely useless filler data. (Source: kaspersky.com)

Users who download and install the supposed Windows 11 will see what looks like a legitimate installation screen and license agreement. It mentions installing Windows 11 plus some "additional offers from sponsors" such as a file sharing app.

In fact, accepting these terms leads to a very different outcome. There's no sign of Windows 11, but it does install a host of unwanted applications that do everything from load unwanted ads to steal passwords, along with malware and "other nasty stuff."

Microsoft Only Legit Source

The only place users should get Windows 11 is at https://insider.windows.com/. This will require registration for the Insider program, along with an existing, legitimate copy of Windows 10.

While Windows 11 remains in test mode, this is definitely for very confident (and curious) users only. Tech experts advise against users running test versions of Windows on their main computer, particularly when the test is at the "dev" stage. The best approach is using either a separate machine or installing it on a "virtual machine" that doesn't risk allowing access to key files. (Source: pcgamer.com)

What's Your Opinion?

Have you ever run a test version of Windows? Are you angered by the scammers in this case or do you have no sympathy with people who don't use the main Microsoft site? Are you surprised people get fooled by such scams?

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buzzallnight's picture

M$ product?

anton_van_wamelen_3476's picture

reading all the comments on Wee11 saying their macines don't match the requirements, I wonder how many are they....

Mine don't either, first looking for the unfamous PC Health Check of them, nowhere to be found, finally I got my hands on it and voila they saying the CPU is not supported.

I think at Microsfoft HQ they were stricken at hell, when they red all those comments.

Conclusion: something is rotten here, so I call it Windosws 911.

Greetings from flanders.