What is centersourceoffreeupgrades[.]best?
centersourceoffreeupgrades[.]best is a deceptive website claiming that visitors' Adobe Flash Player software is out-of-date. The purpose of this scam is to trick users into downloading/installing a fake Flash Player updater. Rogue software updates are commonly used to promote various untrustworthy and even malicious content.
For example, Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) such as adware and browser hijackers. They can even proliferate malware (e.g. trojans, ransomware, etc.). Typically, scam pages are accessed via redirects caused by intrusive advertisements and/or PUAs already infiltrated into the system.
There are several variants of this scam run on centersourceoffreeupgrades[.]best. The scheme appears via pop-ups, stating that visitors' Adobe Flash Player software is outdated and urges them to update it immediately. To elaborate, one variant displays a pop-up window making such claims.
After this window is closed, several more pop-ups are displayed in quick succession. Each repeat thematically identical messages. The large pop-up in the center of the page informs users that Flash Player is a crucial browser plug-in, which enables users to view/interact with media (audio, video, animation and online games).
Since Flash Player supposedly lacks the latest security updates, it has been blocked and any continued use requires installation of the latest updates. This window is then concealed with another pop-up, which states that updates with critical security fixes have been prepared for installation.
It is stated in this window that the user's anti-virus software must allow the installation update, implying that the anti-virus software must be deactivated. All of the pop-ups have "Install/Update" buttons, which initiate download of the fake updater.
When any is clicked, the fraudulent updates are downloaded and centersourceoffreeupgrades[.]best provides installation instructions. These updates are bogus. Installing them will not update Adobe Flash Player - instead, it will allow untrustworthy and/or malicious content onto the system.
Therefore, you are strongly advised against trusting centersourceoffreeupgrades[.]best and other sites making similar claims.
PUAs may seem legitimate and useful, with a wide range of "useful" features. In fact these functions are often nonoperational. PUAs have many harmful capabilities including force-opening deceptive, sale-based, untrustworthy, rogue, compromised and malicious web pages.
They can also operate as adware (i.e., delivering intrusive advertisements such as pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, etc.). The resultant ads are more than just a nuisance - they pose a threat by generating redirects to dangerous websites and through their capability to stealthily download/install bogus content.
Other PUAs are classified as browser hijackers, since they make unauthorized changes to browsers, restrict/deny access to settings and promote fake search engines. PUAs often track data. They can record browsing activity (URLs visited, search queries types, etc.) and collect users' personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details).
This sensitive data is then be shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) intent on misusing it for financial gain.
The sole purpose of all PUAs is to generate profit for the developers at users' expense. In summary, unwanted apps can cause browser/system infiltration and infections, lead to serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. You are advised to immediately remove all suspect applications and/or browser extensions to ensure device/user safety.
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.|
|Fake Claim||Scam claims visitors' Adobe Flash Player is outdated.|
|Detection Names (fake updater)
||Avast (MacOS:Bundlore-ED [Adw]), BitDefender (Adware.MAC.Bundlore.DPS), Emsisoft (Adware.MAC.Bundlore.DPS (B)), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Downloader.OSX.Shlayer.a), Full List (VirusTotal)|
|Promoted Unwanted Application||Promotes various fake Flash updaters.|
|Symptoms||Your Mac becomes slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you are redirected to dubious websites.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers, torrent file downloads.|
|Damage||Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites, loss of private information.|
|Malware Removal (Mac)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
theworldofcontents.info, mainplaceupgradesfree.info and startmostnewestprogram.icu are examples of other sites running identical scam models as that used by centersourceoffreeupgrades[.]best. Social engineering and scare tactics are employed to further these schemes.
The goal is to encourage visitors into performing certain actions. For example, downloading/installing and/or purchasing untrustworthy/malicious software, calling expensive and fake 'tech support' numbers, revealing personal details, making monetary transactions, and many others.
The underlying purpose of these scams is to generate revenue for the scammers behind them. The internet is rife with deceptive web pages and you are advised to exercise great caution when browsing to avoid falling victim to scams.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Fake updaters are just one mode of PUA proliferation. They are also spread via the download/install set-ups of other products. This deceptive marketing method of pre-packing normal software with unwanted or malicious content is called "bundling".
Rushing download/installation processes (e.g. skipping steps, using presets, etc.) endangers devices with potential infiltration and infections. Some PUAs have "official" download web pages, which are often promoted by deceptive/scam sites. When clicked, intrusive ads can execute scripts designed to download/install PUAs without users' consent.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are advised to use only official and verified download channels. Untrustworthy sources such as free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders can offer deceptive and/or bundled content for download.
When downloading/installing, read the terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive advertisements rarely seem suspicious, and yet redirect to highly dubious and rogue websites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and others).
If you encounter these ads/redirects, check the system and remove all dubious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins without delay. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.
Text presented in the initial pop-up window displayed by one variant of the centersourceoffreeupgrades[.]best scam:
Update to the latest version of Flash Player. Your current Adobe Flash Player version is out of date.
Screenshot of the second page displayed by this variant:
Text presented in the pop-ups of this page:
Latest version of Flash Player is required to encode and/or decode (Play) audio files in high quality. - Click here to update for latest version.
For streaming and online watching
"Adobe Flash Player" is an essential plugin for your browser that allows you to view everything from video to games and animation on the web. The version of “Adobe Flash Player" on your system does not include the latest security updates and has been blocked.
To continue using “Adobe Flash Player", download an updated version.
Download Flash... Update
Flash Player Update
Install latest version of Adobe Flash Player in order to continue watching.
Screenshot of the pop-up that overlays the center pop-up:
Text presented in this pop-up:
Adobe Flash Player Update
Updates are ready to Install
The latest version of Adobe Flash Player with critical security fixes is ready to install now
It wouldn't take long to upgrade - and you'll get all the latest improvements and fixes.
Copyright © Adobe Systems Software Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved
Adobe Flash layer Terms of Service
Note: Your antivirus software must allow to install software
No restart is required
Upgrade Save File
Screenshot of the page detailing the fake updater installation instructions:
Text presented in this page:
Go to the ‘Downloads’
Open your downloads list by
clicking on the top right corner
Open the file
Locate and double-click the file
starting with ‘Flash Player’.
Run the application
Confirm the installation by clicking
Continue and Install
Type your password.
Appearance of this variant of the centersourceoffreeupgrades[.]best scam (GIF):
Appearance of another variant of the centersourceoffreeupgrades[.]best scam (GIF):
Appearance of the third variant of the centersourceoffreeupgrades[.]best scam (GIF):
Screenshot of the fake Flash Player updates installation setup:
Instant automatic Mac malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Mac malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is centersourceoffreeupgrades.best pop-up?
- How to identify a pop-up scam?
- How do pop-up scams work?
- How to remove fake pop-ups?
- How to prevent fake pop-ups?
- What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?
How to identify a pop-up scam?
Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.
While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.
Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:
- Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
- Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
- Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
- Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
- Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.
Example of a pop-up scam:
How do pop-up scams work?
Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.
Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.
How to remove fake pop-ups?
In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.
In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.
How to prevent fake pop-ups?
To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.
To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS.
What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?
This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.
- If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
- If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
- If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
- Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.