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Do not trust fake Flash Player updates from centerplaceofupgrade.pro

Also Known As: centerplaceofupgrade.pro pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is centerplaceofupgrade[.]pro?

centerplaceofupgrade[.]pro is a deceptive site promoting a fake Adobe Flash Player updater scam. The web page claims that the plug-in is outdated and recommends installation of the latest updates. Note that bogus software updates are typically used to proliferate nonoperational, untrustworthy and malicious content.

I.e., they can spread various Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) such as adware and browser hijackers, and even malware (e.g. ransomware, trojans, etc.). Few people visit scam pages intentionally - most are redirected by intrusive ads or PUAs already installed on the system.

centerplaceofupgrade[.]pro scam

There are several, practically identical scam variants run on centerplaceofupgrade[.]pro. Visitors first see several pop-up windows that appear in quick succession. Most contain an identical message: Adobe Flash Player is out of date and requires updating.

The messages are phrased slightly differently. The large pop-up in the middle of the page goes into more detail. Following claims about Flash being outdated, it informs users that this plug-in is an essential piece of software. Flash Player enables online media such as audio, video, animation and games.

Supposedly, the current version on visitors' systems is lacking the latest security updates, and has therefore been blocked. To continue using it, the scam recommends installation of the latest updates. If any of the "Download/Install/Update" buttons are clicked, the fake updates are downloaded and the page provides the installation instructions.

The pop-up instructs users to find the downloaded file in within their downloads list, and then to double-click it and confirm installation by clicking "Continue and Install". Note that trusting centerplaceofupgrade[.]pro and following the instructions will not update Adobe Flash Player - instead, users will allow untrustworthy/malicious software onto their devices.

This can lead to serious issues, endanger system integrity and users' safety. You are strongly advised against trusting this scam and others similar to it. To avoid downloading/installing bogus and potentially harmful content, all downloads should be performed from official and verified sources.

Software should likewise be updated using functions/tools provided by legitimate developers.

As mentioned, deceptive/scam sites are commonly accessed via redirects caused by PUAs, however, these apps can also force-open sale-oriented, untrustworthy, rogue, compromised and malicious web pages. This is not the only capability of these unwanted applications.

They can run intrusive advertisement campaigns, delivering dangerous ads that diminish the browsing experience. When clicked, they can redirect to similarly dubious/malicious pages and stealthily download/install unwanted content (e.g. PUAs). Other PUAs can modify browsers and limit/deny access to settings.

These apps often have data tracking capabilities, which are employed to monitor and gather browsing-related information. Data of interest includes (but is not limited to) browsing and search engine histories, IP address, geolocation and users' personal details.

This vulnerable information can then be shared with third parties, seeking to misuse it for profit. To summarize, the presence of PUAs on systems can lead to browser/system infiltration and infections, serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. Therefore, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name centerplaceofupgrade.pro pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Fake Claim Scam claims that 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 fake Flash Player updates.
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.
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centersourceoffreeupgrades.besttheworldofcontents.info, and startmostnewestprogram.icu are examples of other scams similar to centerplaceofupgrade[.]pro.

There are various models employed to trick users into performing specific actions (e.g. downloading/installing/purchasing untrustworthy and/or malicious content, revealing their personal information, making monetary transactions, calling expensive numbers, etc.).

Through warnings of "outdated/missing" software or infections "detected" on the system, prize announcements, "amazing" offers and similar, the schemes generate profit for their designers. There are thousands of deceptive websites on the web, and you are thus urged to be very cautious when browsing.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Fake updaters are just one way in which PUAs can infiltrate systems. They can also be downloaded/installed together with other products. The deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing regular content with unwanted or malicious software is called "bundling".

While opting-out of these unwanted additions is often possible, rushing download/installation processes (e.g. skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options, etc.) increases the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content onto devices. Note that some PUAs have "official" download web pages.

Intrusive ads also proliferate PUAs. Once clicked, they can execute scripts to download/install these rogue apps without users' consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

All products should be researched carefully prior to download/installation or purchase. Use only official and verified download channels channels, as opposed to free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), third party downloaders or other untrustworthy sources.

When downloading/installing, read the terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive advertisements usually seem legitimate and harmless, however, they can redirect to highly dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and others).

If you encounter these ads/redirects, inspect the system and remove all suspect 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 large pop-up in the middle of the page:

Software update
Update your Adobe Flash Player

Install the latest Flash Player for better performances.

Update now

"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.

The version of this plug-in on your computer doesn't include the latest security updates. Flash cannot be used until you download an update from Adobe.

> Click "Download Flash"

> Install updates and enjoy performances.

Download Flash... Update

Screenshot of the pop-up that overlays the center of the page:

centerplaceofupgrade[.]pro scam pop-up that overlays the middle of the page

Text presented in the pop-up windows displayed on this page:

Center pop-up:

 

Software update

“Adobe Flash Player” is out-of-date

The version of this plug-in on your computer doesn't include the latest security updates. Flash cannot be used until you download an update from Adobe.Update Download Flash...

Update Download Flash...

 

--------

Bottom pop-up:

 

Flash Player Update
Install latest version of Adobe Flash Player in order to continue watching.
Download

Screenshot of the fake Flash Player update installation instructions provided by centerplaceofupgrade[.]pro scam:

centerplaceofupgrade[.]pro scam fake flash updates install instructions

Text presented in this page:

1

Go to the ‘Downloads’
Open your downloads list by
clicking on the top right corner
the ‘arrow’.

2

Open the file
Locate and double-click the file
starting with ‘Flash Player’.

3
Run the application
Confirm the installation by clicking
Continue and Install
buttons.
Type your password.

Appearance of centerplaceofupgrade[.]pro scam (GIF):

Appearance of centerplaceofupgrade[.]pro scam (GIF)

Appearance of the other variant of centerplaceofupgrade[.]pro scam (GIF):

Another variant appearance of centerplaceofupgrade[.]pro scam (GIF)

Screenshot of the fake Flash Player updates installation setup:

centerplaceofupgrade[.]pro scam fake flash updates installer

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Quick menu:

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:

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.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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