Avoid getting scammed by fake "Ledger Firmware Update" websites

Also Known As: "Ledger Firmware Update" crypto drainer
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "Ledger Firmware Update"?

After inspecting this "Ledger Firmware Update", we determined that it is a scam. It states that the user's Ledger wallet requires a firmware update. However, once a wallet is exposed to the scam – it begins operating as a cryptocurrency drainer.

Ledger Firmware Update scam

"Ledger Firmware Update" scam overview

The Ledger Company is a legitimate business offering cold storage and hardware wallets. This scam states that there is a mandatory firmware update for the Ledger wallet. The upgrade is essential to ensuring the wallet's security and preventing asset loss.

The website running this scheme that we inspected mimicked the official Ledger site's domain – which is ledger.com. The fake page's URL – ledger.critical-update[.]com – does not suggest a typosquatting technique, which relies on entrapping victims through mistyped domains. However, its closeness to the official website could be convincing when promoted by a seemingly reputable source, through search engine poisoning techniques, or malvertising.

It must be emphasized that the information provided by this scam is false, and this fraudulent content is not associated with The Ledger Company.

After a user presses the "Initiate Firmware Upgrade" button, it prompts them to connect their cryptowallet. After the wallet is connected, a cryptocurrency-draining mechanism is triggered. Some drainers can approximate the value of stored assets, thus targeting them first.

The funds are transferred through automated transactions, which may be disguised to appear vague and lower victim suspicion. This can result in the theft of most or all digital assets. The scope of the financial loss depends on their value.

It is worth mentioning that due to the practically untraceable nature of cryptocurrency transactions – they cannot be reversed. Therefore, victims are unable to retrieve the stolen funds.

Threat Summary:
Name "Ledger Firmware Update" crypto drainer
Threat Type Cryptocurrency Drainer, Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Ledger wallet must be updated.
Related Domains ledger.critical-update[.]com
Detection Names (ledger.critical-update[.]com) Combo Cleaner (Malware), Certego (Phishing), ECluster25 (Phishing), CRDF (Malicious), Emsisoft (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (ledger.critical-update[.]com)
Distribution methods Spam, Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Monetary loss
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Cryptocurrency drainer scam examples

We have examined thousands of online scams; "Balancer", "PayPal Stablecoin", and "Claim EZPOINTS" are merely a couple examples of crypto drainers.

The Internet is full of deceptive and malicious content. Commonly used false claims relate to critical updates, system infections/errors, giveaways, product promotions, lotteries, shipping mishaps, etc. While scams are infamous for being riddled with errors, they may also be competently made and even disguised as legitimate content.

Regardless of the varying appearance and claims of online schemes, the end goal is the same – to generate revenue at victims' expense.

How did I open a scam website?

Online scams are commonly promoted through links and attachments in all manner of spam, e.g., social media/ forum posts, DMs/PMs, emails, SMSes, browser notifications, etc. It is pertinent to mention that cryptocurrency-centric schemes have been observed being heavily endorsed using social media accounts stolen from genuine organizations, companies, celebrities, influencers, and so on.

Deceptive sites can also be accessed via redirects generated by webpages using rogue advertising networks, misspelled URLs (typosquatting), intrusive ads, and adware.

How to avoid visiting scam websites?

Fraudulent and malicious online content usually appears legitimate and innocuous. For example, spam browser notifications and intrusive adverts may look harmless – yet they redirect to unreliable/questionable sites (e.g., scam-promoting, gambling, pornography, etc.).

Therefore, we highly recommend caution while browsing. Pay attention to URLs and type them carefully. Be selective about which websites you permit to display browser notifications. Do not enable suspicious pages to do so (i.e., do not click "Allow", "Allow Notifications", etc.), and instead ignore or deny notification requests (i.e., select "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.).

We advise against using sites offering pirated programs/media or other dubious services (e.g., Torrenting, illegal streaming/downloading, etc.), as these webpages usually use rogue advertising networks.

Additionally, treat incoming emails and other messages with vigilance. Attachments or links found in suspect/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be hazardous or infectious.

To prevent bundled/harmful software from infiltrating the system – download only from official/verified sources and treat installations with care (e.g., read terms, study available options, use "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of supplementary apps, extensions, features, etc.).

If your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate all threats.

Text presented in "Ledger Firmware Update" scam:


Latest Firmware Update


If you are seeing this message, you have been identified as a Ledger wallet client in use of an outdated and insecure firwmare version. Please update your Ledger device below immediately to avoid asset loss and potential security violations.

This firmware update is mandatory for users of the Ledger Nano S, Ledger Nano S Plus, and Ledger Nano X. If you are a business impacted by this vulnerability, and need extra accomodations, please contact support to upgrade your devices.

Initiate Firmware Upgrade

Copyright © Ledger SAS. All rights reserved.

The appearance of "Ledger Firmware Update" scam (GIF):

Appearance of Ledger Firmware Update scam (GIF)

Instant automatic 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 malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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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 an online scam?

Online scams are deceptive messages designed to trick users into performing specific actions. For example, victims may be lured into connecting digital wallets to crypto drainers, disclosing sensitive information, making monetary transactions, calling fake helplines, downloading/installing software, purchasing products, etc.

What is the purpose of online scams?

The purpose of online scams is to generate revenue. Cyber criminals profit predominantly by acquiring funds through deception, endorsing content (e.g., websites, software, products, services, etc.), abusing/selling private data, and spreading malware.

I have lost cryptocurrency to the "Ledger Firmware Update" scam, can I get my money back?

No, cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible due to their virtually untraceable nature.

Why do I encounter online scams?

Online scams are primarily promoted via spam (e.g., emails, PMs/DMs, social media posts, browser notifications, etc.), sites using rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, intrusive ads, and adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from online scams?

Combo Cleaner can scan the websites you visit and detect deceptive/malicious ones. Therefore, should you enter such a webpage – you will be warned immediately, and further access to it will be blocked.

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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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