Do not trust the Flash Player Update Download New Version pop-up

Also Known As: Flash Player Update Download New Version pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "Flash Player Update Download New Version"?

"Flash Player Update Download New Version" is a deceptive pop-up displayed by various scam websites. When sites running this scam are accessed, visitors are offered download/installation of fake Flash Player updates. Note that bogus updaters are commonly used to infiltrate systems with untrusted or malicious content.

The "Flash Player Update Download New Version" scheme has been observed promoting browser hijackers (e.g. SearchMine) and adware (e.g. MediaDownloader and MyCouponsmart) via fake update installers, however, other dubious or malicious software (e.g. trojans, ransomware, etc.) might also be installed through these bogus updates.

The updaters promoted by "Flash Player Update Download New Version" often originate from the Bundlore family. Most visitors to deceptive/scam web pages access them inadvertently through redirects caused by intrusive ads or Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) already installed on the system.

Flash Player Update Download New Version scam

Unlike many versions of this scam model, "Flash Player Update Download New Version" does not explicitly state that Flash Player is outdated or missing. This indirect approach can trick users into lowering their guard and installing what may seem to be legitimate updates.

The pop-up window urges people to update Flash by explaining what a crucial and useful piece of software it is. It informs users that Flash Player is an essential browser plug-in, which enables them to play online media ranging from video, animation and games. It is added that this plug-in supports data formats such as AMF, SWF, XML, JSON and multimedia.

For example, .MP3, .FLV, .JPEG, .GIF, .PNG and .RTMP. Other features of Flash are accelerated graphics rendering, multi-thread video decoding and webcam support. This window has two buttons ("Update now" and "Install", respectively), which initiate the download of a fake updater.

Once either is clicked, the scam also provides the installation instructions. Installing these updates will not update Flash Player - instead, users will unintentionally allow potentially dangerous software onto their systems. This, in turn, can cause serious issues and endanger device/user safety.

You are strongly advised against downloading/installing content promoted via pages running "Flash Player Update Download New Version". You are strongly advised to update products with tools/functions provided by genuine developers.

As well as causing redirects to deceptive/scam sites, PUAs can force-open untrustworthy/rogue, sale-based, compromised and malicious web pages as well. In fact, these applications can have other, additional capabilities. Adware-type PUAs deliver intrusive ads (e.g. pop-ups, coupons, banners, etc.), which diminish the browsing experience.

When click, they redirect to harmful websites and can download/install software without users' permission. Unwanted apps classified as browser hijackers make changes to browsers and limit/deny access to settings - this, to promote fake search engines. All types of PUAs have data tracking capabilities.

They can record users' browsing habits (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The data is then shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) seeking to misuse it for financial gain.

To summarize, PUAs can cause browser/system infiltrations and infections, lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft. To protect device integrity and user safety, remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Flash Player Update Download New Version pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Fake Claim Scam implies Flash Player is outdated/missing.
Detection Names (one of the fake update installers)
Avast (MacOS:Bundlore-EA [Adw]), DrWeb (Adware.Mac.Bundlore.775), Ikarus (Trojan.MAC.Generic), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Bnodlero), Full List (VirusTotal)
Related Domains Full list below.
Promoted Unwanted Application Various fake software updaters (Bundlore family), MediaDownloader, MyCouponsmart, SearchMine and others.
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)

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There are thousands of deceptive websites available. They are designed for the sole purpose of generating revenue for the scammers behind them.

Through use of social engineering and scare tactics, these scams encourage users to download/install and/or purchase nonoperational, dubious or malicious content, calling expensive fake support/service lines, revealing personal details (e.g. information relating to identities, social media/communication or financial accounts), making monetary transactions, etc.

Popular scam models include alerts that software is outdated/missing, warnings that the system is infected (e.g. "Noname", "Vnbue" etc.), prize/award giveaways (e.g. "Dear YouTube user, Congratulations!", "International promotion of postal services" etc.), and many others.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs proliferate through the download/install set-ups of other software. This deceptive marketing technique of packing regular products with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling". Rushing download and installation processes (e.g. skimming or ignoring terms, using pre-set options, etc.) endangers devices with potential infiltration and infections.

Note that some PUAs have "official" download web pages. When clicked, intrusive ads can execute scripts to stealthily download/install PUAs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

It is important to research all content prior to download/installation or purchase. Use only official and verified download channels. Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.), free file-hosting sites and other third party downloaders are untrusted and should be avoided. Treat download/Installation processes with caution.

Read the terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, function and so on. Intrusive ads may seem normal and innocuous, however, once clicked, they can redirect to highly dubious pages (e.g. pornography, adult-dating, gambling and others).

If you experience these advertisements/redirects, inspect the system and immediately remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. 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 "Flash Player Update Download New Version" pop-up window:

Software Update
Flash Player Update
Download new version
Update now

Flash Player is an essential plugin for your browser that allows you to view everything from video to games and animation on the web.
Flash Player supports several data formats AMF, SWF, XML and JSON. The multimedia formats which are supported by Flash Player include .MP3, .FLV, .JPEG, .GIF, .PNG and .RTMP.
Other supported features include accelerated graphics rendering, multi-thread video decoding and webcam support.

Later Install

Screenshot of the fake Flash update installation instructions:

Flash Player Update Download New Version scam installation instructions

Text presented in this page:

When the file done downloading,
you'll see it at the bottom of your
Chrome window.
Open the file
Click the file starting with ‘Flash Player’.
Run the application
Confirm the installation by clicking
Continue and Install
Type your password.

Appearance of "Flash Player Update Download New Version" scam (GIF):

Appearance of Flash Player Update Download New Version scam (GIF)

Domains related to the "Flash Player Update Download New Version " pop-up scam:

Screenshot of one of the fake Flash update installers:

One of many installers promoted by Flash Player Update Download New Version scam

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:
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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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