Do not trust updates to the latest version of HD Video Player scam

Also Known As: Update to the latest version of HD Video Player pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "Update to the latest version of HD Video Player"?

There are many deceptive websites designed to deceive visitors into using a fake Adobe Flash Player installer, which supposedly updates the currently installed version. Typically, these bogus installers install one or multiple potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) such as browser hijackers and adware-type apps.

In some cases, they are used to infect systems with malicious software including ransomware and Trojan-type programs. In any case, fake Adobe Flash Player installers that are promoted through unofficial websites can never be trusted and should be avoided.

Update to the latest version of HD Video Player scam

When visited, this deceptive page displays a pop-up window claiming that the currently installed version of HD Video Player is out of date and encourages users to install the latest one. It also displays a number of pop-ups claiming that the installed version does not include the latest security updates and cannot be used until an update is installed.

In fact, this web page downloads an installation file disguised as an Adobe Flash Player installer. Typically, these installers are used to proliferate browser hijackers, adware-type applications and other PUAs. Therefore, they do not install or update the official Adobe Flash Player.

Browser hijackers promote fake search engines (URLs) by changing browser settings. Typically, they change the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab. They also gather various browsing-related information. Adware-type apps display ads in the form of coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, etc.

When clicked, these open dubious, potentially malicious pages. Some can be capable of causing unwanted downloads and installations by executing certain scripts. Some fake Adobe Flash Player installers cause installation of malware. For example, they install a Trojan, ransomware or other high-risk malware.

Ransomware-type programs block access to files by encryption. Typically, victims cannot decrypt files without having to pay ransoms. There are several Trojans that, in most cases, install other malicious programs or steal sensitive information.

In summary, it is not safe to use software installers that are available for download on unofficial, deceptive or untrusted websites. By using them, many users risk suffering data and monetary loss, becoming victims of identity theft, experiencing problems with online privacy, browsing safety, etc.

Threat Summary:
Name Update to the latest version of HD Video Player pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Fake Claim This page claims that HD Video Player (supposedly the Adobe Flash Player) is out of date.
Related Domain findgreatsourceforupgrade[.]info
Serving IP Address
Detection Names (AdobeFlashPlayerInstaller.dmg) Avast (MacOS:Downloader-AA [Drp]), BitDefender (Adware.MAC.Generic.15796), Emsisoft (Adware.MAC.Generic.15796 (B)), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Bnodlero.aq), Full List (VirusTotal)
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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Some examples of other web pages that encourage visitors to update Adobe Flash Player with a fake installer are "Flash Player Update Download New Version", "Your Flash Player Is Out Of Date" and "There Is A New Codec Pack Version".

In most cases, these web pages are opened though other rogue sites, clicked deceptive advertisements or by installed potentially unwanted applications. In any case, many people arrive at these sites unintentionally.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

In most cases, PUAs are downloaded and installed through deceptive advertisements that users click, or when developers distribute them using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". Using this method, they seek to deceive users into downloading and installing unwanted apps together with other programs by including them into the download/installation set-ups.

Generally, additionally-included apps are listed in "Advanced", "Custom and other similar settings, however, many users leave these settings unchecked and unchanged. In doing so, they also allow included PUAs to be downloaded and installed with their required programs.

Deceptive ads can cause download/installation of PUAs when they execute certain scripts, however, they must first be clicked.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Programs and files should not be downloaded from unofficial websites, through Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), third party downloaders/installers, or other similar sources. These channels/tools are often monetized using them to distribute unwanted software.

The only safe and proper way to download software is from official websites and via direct links. Check all download/installation settings such as "Custom", "Advanced", etc. Dismiss any offers to download or install additional, unwanted software.

Do not click intrusive ads that are displayed on dubious web pages, since they can open dubious websites or cause unwanted downloads and installations. Do not trust or click these advertisements. Remove all unwanted extensions, plug-ins and add-ons that are already installed on the browser, and programs of this kind are installed on the operating system.

If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of "Update to the latest version of HD Video Player" scam (GIF):

update to the latest version of hd video player scam appearance in gif image

Text in the first pop-up window and background page:

Update to the latest version of HD Video Player. Your current HD Video Player version is out of date.

Latest version of HD Video Player is required to encode and/or decode (Play) audio files in high quality. -
Click here to update for latest version.

Sceenshot of two pop-up windows that appear next:

update to the latest version of hd video player scam second pop-up

Text in these pop-up windows:

HD Video Player
Install latest version of HD Video Player in order to continue watching.

Software update
Recommended Update  
For streaming and online watching
Update now
"HD Video 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 “HD Video Player" on your system does not include the latest security updates and has been blocked.

To continue using “HD Video Player", download an updated version.

Screenshot of the next pop-up:

update to the latest version of hd video player scam third pop-up 

Text in this pop-up:

Software update

“HD Video Player” is out-of-date

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

Update Download

Screenshot of the last pop-up:

update to the latest version of hd video player scam fourth pop-up 

Text in this pop-up:

Open the file

Right click on Installer icon and Open

Right click on Installer icon and Open
Confirm the installation by clicking
Continue and Install  buttons. Type your password.

Screenshot of a fake Adobe Flash Player installer:

fake adobe flash player installer step 1 

Another screenshot of this installer:

fake adobe flash player installer step 2 

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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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