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How to recognize fake websites like the Microsoft Edge Update site

Also Known As: Fake Microsoft Edge update website
Damage level: Severe

What is fake Microsoft Edge Update website?

It is a deceptive website claiming that visitors are using an outdated version of the Microsoft Edge web browser. It is disguised as an official Microsoft website. The purpose of this page is to trick users into downloading and executing malware.

Fake Microsoft Edge Update scam scam

Fake Microsoft Edge Update scam in detail

There are multiple variants of deceptive websites with similar designs used to distribute malware. This particular variant is used to trick visitors into downloading and executing a JS file designed to infect computers with Magniber ransomware.

Other variants could be used to distribute different ransomware variants, Trojans, cryptocurrency miners, and other malicious software. Either way, these pages must be ignored (files should never be downloaded from them).

Threat Summary:
Name Fake Microsoft Edge update website
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim The installed Microsoft Edge version is out of date
Disguise Legitimate Microsoft page
Distributed Malware
Magniber ransomware and other malicious software
Detection Names (Malicious JS File Used To Distribute Ransomware) Avast (SNH:Script [Dropper]), AVG (SNH:Script [Dropper]), Cyren (Trojan.KACB-6), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Downloader.Script.SLoad.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Script/Wacatac.B!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
Distribution Methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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More about this and similar pages

Other websites belonging to threat actors behind this campaign may be claiming that a computer is infected, damaged, or encouraging users to download a malicious file (or files) in other ways. It is very common for such pages to use scare tactics to trick users into performing certain actions.

More examples of fake Microsoft websites are "Child Pornography Access Detected", "Windows 10 May Be In Danger", "Firewall Error: #ST43400X". Usually, they are promoted through pages that use rogue advertising networks. Also, they can be promoted through adware.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Most potentially unwanted apps (including adware) are distributed through downloaders and installers for other programs, shady advertisements, fake installers. Downloaders and installers used to distribute PUAs have "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" or similar settings.

Users agree to download or install unwanted apps alongside other programs when they do not change those settings before downloading or installing those programs. Fake installers are promoted on untrustworthy websites. Ads that can download or install unwanted software appear on dubious pages too.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Download programs and files from trustworthy (official, legitimate) websites. Do not use other sources for that. Also, do not click on advertisements that questionable pages have on them. Deselect optional downloads or installations (unwanted applications) before downloading or installing programs.

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

Text presented in the fake Microsoft Edge Update page:

Microsoft

You are using an older version of Edge

Update now to keep your Edge browser running smoothly and securely.

Your download will begin automatically. If not, click here:

[Update Edge]

Screenshot of the VirusTotal's list of detections for a malicious file downloaded from this page:

fake microsoft edge update scam virustotal detections

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of 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 Windows.

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 Windows) - 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a fake software update scam?

It is a scam used to trick visitors into downloading potentially malicious (or malicious) software. Typically, scams of this type are delivered through deceptive pages disguised legitimate websites.

What is the purpose of a fake Microsoft Edge update scam?

This scam is used to distribute malicious software (ransomware and other malware). In other cases, such a scam could be used to extract sensitive information, obtain remote access to a computer, and other purposes.

How these scams are promoted?

Usually, these scams (deceptive pages) are promoted through other untrustworthy pages that use questionable advertising networks. Also, they can be promoted through adware and other questionable software.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from fake software update and similar scams?

Combo Cleaner can scan and detect malicious websites and other untrustworthy pages. It warns users about such pages and restricts access to them.

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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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