Hacker releases fake Windows 11 installer loaded with malware

Beware of malicious Windows 11 installers. Microsoft’s recent move to roll out Windows 11 to more PCs has inspired at least one hacker to exploit the software rollout.

On Tuesday, HP reported a fake Windows 11 installer that will deliver malware to a victim’s PC. The company spotted the scheme after noticing the curious “Windows upgraded[.]com” domain.

According to HP, the domain was created a day after Microsoft announced it was entering the final stage of shipping Windows 11 to eligible PCs. The fake domain was dressed to look like an official Windows 11 site and included a “download” button. However, the download is actually a Trojan capable of stealing passwords and other data from a PC’s web browser.

The malicious Windows 11 download arrives as a 1.5 MB ZIP file named “Windows11InstallationAssistant”. But when unzipped, it will expand up to 753MB due to the hacker deliberately “filling” the file’s computer code.

“One of the reasons why attackers were able to insert such a padding area, making the file very large, is that files of this size may not be scanned by antivirus and other scanning controls, increasing thus the chances that the file can run unhindered and install the malware,” HP says.

If the malicious Windows 11 installer is run, it will download a malicious package called RedLine Stealer, which cybercriminals can buy from underground forums and use to steal passwords and auto-complete data such as passwords. credit card numbers from browsers.

The “windows-upgraded” site[.]com” is no longer online. But we wouldn’t be surprised if other scammers try similar schemes to spread malware to those looking to download Windows 11.

Microsoft is currently working to roll out Windows 11 as a free upgrade to eligible Windows 10 PCs. However, the update will not arrive via a download button on a website. Instead, the company plans to provide it through the Windows Update feature, which can be found in the Windows 10 settings panel. You can also choose to install Windows 11 manually. Just make sure to download the installer from Microsoft official website and not from any other source. Check out our guide on how to do this.


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Steven L. Nielsen