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Do not trust scam sites stating "Your chrome Device may be too old"

Also Known As: Your chrome Device may be too old pop-up
Damage level: Medium

What is the "Your chrome Device may be too old" scam?

"Your chrome Device may be too old" is a scam targeting Android device users. This scheme is promoted on various deceptive websites. The scam informs that an application update is available, which is recommended as the users' devices are likely outdated.

Typically, scams of this type proliferate a wide variety of dubious software, e.g., adware, browser hijackers, fake anti-viruses, and other PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). Such schemes may even spread malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.).

Untrustworthy sites are seldom accessed intentionally. Most users get redirected to them by rogue webpages, intrusive advertisements, or PUAs already infiltrated into their devices.

"Your chrome Device may be too old" scam in detail

The "Your chrome Device may be too old" scam informs that there is an app update available. The scheme also states that users' devices may be too old. Supposedly, installing the endorsed application will improve website loading time by 78% and reduce 3G traffic by 45%.

The scam then urges to install Ace Browser. This is the name of a legitimate browser; in rare cases, schemes can promote genuine products. However, it is more common for scams to offer untrustworthy/malicious apps disguised as or bundled with legitimate software.

Therefore, by trusting the "Your chrome Device may be too old" scheme, users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

How do potentially unwanted applications operate?

PUAs usually appear ordinary and innocuous. They also offer a broad range of functionalities, which are rarely operational. Fake anti-viruses are prime examples of this; they require activation (i.e., purchase) to perform the features, yet after activation - they remain non-functional.

PUAs can have harmful abilities, which can be in different combinations. Some PUAs can force-open various websites (e.g., ones running "Your chrome Device may be too old"). Adware delivers intrusive advertisement campaigns. The displayed ads promote deceptive/malicious sites, and may be able to stealthily download/install software - when they are clicked on.

Browser hijackers are another type of PUAs. They operate by promoting fake search engines through modifications to browser settings. Illegitimate web searchers usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other genuine search engines.

Furthermore, most PUAs can track data. Information of interest includes: URLs visited, webpages viewed, search queries typed, IP addresses, personally identifiable details, and so on. The collected data is then monetized by being shared with and/or sold to third-parties.

Therefore, to ensure device integrity and user privacy, all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately upon detection.

Your chrome Device may be too old scam

Threat Summary:
Name Your chrome Device may be too old pop-up
Threat Type Android malware, malicious application, unwanted application.
Related Domains megiduo[.]com
Serving IP Address (megiduo[.]com) 109.206.187.4
Symptoms The device is running slow, system settings are modified without user's permission, questionable applications appear, data and battery usage is increased significantly, browsers redirect to questionable websites, intrusive advertisements are delivered.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, deceptive applications, scam websites.
Damage Stolen personal information (private messages, logins/passwords, etc.), decreased device performance, battery is drained quickly, decreased Internet speed, huge data losses, monetary losses, stolen identity (malicious apps might abuse communication apps).
Malware Removal (Android) To eliminate malware infections our security researchers recommend scanning your Android device with legitimate anti-malware software. We recommend Avast, Bitdefender, ESET or Malwarebytes.

Online scams in general

The Internet is rife with deceptive/scam websites; update-for-today[.]com - is an example of a page running Android-specific schemes. Online scams use various techniques and tactics to gain and abuse users' trust. The sole deceptive content is to generate revenue at victims' expense.

Common models include: alerts that software is outdated (e.g., "Required video codec is not installed on your computer", "Fake flash player update", etc.), warnings that the device is infected (e.g., "Access To This Pc Has Been Blocked For Security Reasons", "Code 0x03A10 (0E10)", etc.), prize giveaways (e.g., "SPIN FOR REWARD", "You Are Our Winner Today!", etc.), and many others.

Due to the prevalence of online schemes, it is strongly advised to exercise caution when browsing.

How do potentially unwanted applications infiltrate devices?

PUAs can have "official" download webpages, which are often promoted by deceptive/scam sites. Intrusive adverts are also used to spread these applications. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission.

PUAs are most commonly distributed via download/installation setups of other programs. This false marketing method of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g., ignored terms, skipped steps, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the device.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. Furthermore, only official and verified download channels must be used. Untrustworthy sources, e.g., Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, unofficial and freeware websites, and other third-party downloaders - offer bundled and/or hazardous content.

When downloading/installing, it is highly recommended to read terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, functions, and other additions.

Intrusive ads appear legitimate and harmless; however, they redirect to dubious sites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.). In case of encounters with advertisements and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be checked and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it.

Quick menu:

Delete browsing history from the Chrome web browser:

Deleting web browsing history from Chrome in Android operating system (step 1)

Tap the "Menu" button (three dots on the right-upper corner of the screen) and select "History" in the opened dropdown menu.

Deleting web browsing history from Chrome in Android operating system (step 2)

Tap "Clear browsing data", select "ADVANCED" tab, choose the time range and data types you want to delete and tap "Clear data".

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Disable browser notifications in the Chrome web browser:

Disabling browser notifications in the Chrome browser in Android operating system (step 1)

Tap the "Menu" button (three dots on the right-upper corner of the screen) and select "Settings" in the opened dropdown menu.

Disabling browser notifications in the Chrome browser in Android operating system (step 2)

Scroll down until you see "Site settings" option and tap it. Scroll down until you see "Notifications" option and tap it.

Disabling browser notifications in the Chrome browser in Android operating system (step 3)

Find the websites that deliver browser notifications, tap on them and click "Clear & reset". This will remove permissions granted for these websites to deliver notifications. However, once you visit the same site again, it may ask for a permission again.

You can choose whether to give these permissions or not (if you choose to decline the website will go to "Blocked" section and will no longer ask you for the permission).

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Reset the Chrome web browser:

Resetting Chrome browser to default in Android operating system (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "Apps" and tap it.

Resetting Chrome browser to default in Android operating system (step 2)

Scroll down until you find "Chrome" application, select it and tap "Storage" option.

Resetting Chrome browser to default in Android operating system (step 3)

Tap "MANAGE STORAGE", then "CLEAR ALL DATA" and confirm the action by taping "OK". Note that resetting the browser will eliminate all data stored within. This means that all saved logins/passwords, browsing history, non-default settings and other data will be deleted. You will also have to re-login into all websites as well.

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Delete browsing history from the Firefox web browser:

Delete browsing history from the Firefox in the Android operating system (step 1)

Tap the "Menu" button (three dots on the right-upper corner of the screen) and select "History" in the opened dropdown menu.

Delete browsing history from the Firefox in the Android operating system (step 2)

Scroll down until you see "Clear private data" and tap it. Select data types you want to remove and tap "CLEAR DATA".

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Disable browser notifications in the Firefox web browser:

Disable browser notifications in the Firefox web browser in the Android operating system (step 1)

Visit the website that is delivering browser notifications, tap the icon displayed on the left of URL bar (the icon will not necessarily be a "Lock") and select "Edit Site Settings".

Disable browser notifications in the Firefox web browser in the Android operating system (step 2)

In the opened pop-up opt-in the "Notifications" option and tap "CLEAR".

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Reset the Firefox web browser:

Resetting Firefox browser in the Android operating system (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "Apps" and tap it.

Resetting Firefox browser in the Android operating system (step 2)

Scroll down until you find "Firefox" application, select it and tap "Storage" option.

Resetting Firefox browser in the Android operating system (step 3)

Tap "CLEAR DATA" and confirm the action by taping "DELETE". Note that resetting the browser will eliminate all data stored within. This means that all saved logins/passwords, browsing history, non-default settings and other data will be deleted. You will also have to re-login into all websites as well.

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Uninstall potentially unwanted and/or malicious applications:

Removing unwanted/malicious applications from the Android operating system (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "Apps" and tap it.

Removing unwanted/malicious applications from the Android operating system (step 2)

Scroll down until you see a potentially unwanted and/or malicious application, select it and tap "Uninstall". If, for some reason, you are unable to remove the selected app (e.g., you are prompted with an error message), you should try using the "Safe Mode".

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Boot the Android device in "Safe Mode":

The "Safe Mode" in Android operating system temporarily disables all third-party applications from running. Using this mode is a good way to diagnose and solve various issues (e.g., remove malicious applications that prevent users you from doing so when the device is running "normally").

Booting Android device in Safe Mode

Push the "Power" button and hold it until you see the "Power off" screen. Tap the "Power off" icon and hold it. After a few seconds the "Safe Mode" option will appear and you'll be able run it by restarting the device.

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Check the battery usage of various applications:

Checking the battery usage of various applications in the Android operating system (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "Device maintenance" and tap it.

Checking the battery usage of various applications in the Android operating system (step 2)

Tap "Battery" and check the usage of each application. Legitimate/genuine applications are designed to use as low energy as possible in order to provide the best user experience and to save power. Therefore, high battery usage may indicate that the application is malicious.

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Check the data usage of various applications:

Checking data usage of various applications in the Android operating system (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "Connections" and tap it.

Checking data usage of various applications in the Android operating system (step 2)

Scroll down until you see "Data usage" and select this option. As with battery, legitimate/genuine applications are designed to minimize data usage as much as possible. This means that huge data usage may indicate presence of malicious application.

Note that some malicious applications might be designed to operate when the device is connected to wireless network only. For this reason, you should check both Mobile and Wi-Fi data usage.

Checking data usage of various applications in the Android operating system (step 3)

If you find an application that uses a lot of data even though you never use it, then we strongly advise you to uninstall it as soon as possible.

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Install the latest software updates:

Keeping the software up-to-date is a good practice when it comes to device safety. The device manufacturers are continually releasing various security patches and Android updates in order to fix errors and bugs that can be abused by cyber criminals.

An outdated system is way more vulnerable, which is why you should always be sure that your device's software is up-to-date.

Installing software updates in the Android operating system (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "Software update" and tap it.

Installing software updates in the Android operating system (step 2)

Tap "Download updates manually" and check if there are any updates available. If so, install them immediately. We also recommend to enable the "Download updates automatically" option - it will enable the system to notify you once an update is released and/or install it automatically.

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Reset the system to its default state:

Performing a "Factory Reset" is a good way to remove all unwanted applications, restore system's settings to default and clean the device in general.

However, you must keep in mind that all data within the device will be deleted, including photos, video/audio files, phone numbers (stored within the device, not the SIM card), SMS messages, and so forth. In other words, the device will be restored to its primal state. You can also restore the basic system settings and/or simply network settings as well.

Resetting the Android operating system to its default (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "About phone" and tap it.

Resetting the Android operating system to its default (step 2)

Scroll down until you see "Reset" and tap it. Now choose the action you want to perform:
"Reset settings" - restore all system settings to default;
"Reset network settings" - restore all network-related settings to default;
"Factory data reset" - reset the entire system and completely delete all stored data;

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Disable applications that have administrator privileges:

If a malicious application gets administrator-level privileges it can seriously damage the system. To keep the device as safe as possible you should always check what apps have such privileges and disable the ones that shouldn't.

Disabling Android applications that have administrator privileges (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "Lock screen and security" and tap it.

Disabling Android applications that have administrator privileges (step 2)

Scroll down until you see "Other security settings", tap it and then tap "Device admin apps".

Disabling Android applications that have administrator privileges (step 3)

Identify applications that should not have administrator privileges, tap them and then tap "DEACTIVATE".

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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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