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Alert: Fake Windows 11 download page installs malware on your PC

Windows 11 logo on a laptop screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Hackers are using a fake Windows 11 download page to get malware onto unsuspecting users’ computers. If downloaded, said malware will steal browser data, cryptocurrency wallets and more. This campaign is targeted at folks whose PCs fail to meet Microsoft’s stringent Windows 11 hardware requirements.

As Bleeping Computer (opens in new tab) (via TechRadar (opens in new tab)) reports, the fake Windows 11 download page has official Microsoft logos, favicons and a “Download Now” button. It looks legitimate at first glance, but the URL (which we won’t post here) reveals the site as fraudulent. If you click on the download button, you’ll get an ISO file that contains the malware. Threat researchers at CloudSEK (opens in new tab) shared a technical report detailing how the malware works with Bleeping Computer.

The malware in question, known as “Inno Stealer,” can bypass Windows Defender anti-virus and uninstall security applications. Once on your PC, Inno Stealer steals data from browsers like Chrome and Edge, and data from cryptocurrency wallets. The stolen data then gets sent to the people who originally created the malware.

Malware

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

While this piece of malware is certainly dangerous, it’s easily avoidable. As we said, the URL is a dead giveaway that the download page isn’t a genuine Microsoft page. If you’re currently running Windows 10 and have a PC that can run Windows 11, you can download and install Microsoft’s latest operating system directly from Windows Upgrade on your computer. You can also go to Microsoft’s website (opens in new tab) to download Windows 11.

Things get a bit complicated if your PC doesn’t meet Microsoft’s requirements for Windows 11, particularly the TPM 2.0 check. While there are ways to circumvent this, we don’t recommend it since installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware will prevent you from getting the latest security updates.

If your computer doesn’t meet Microsoft’s requirements, it’s best to wait until you’ve either upgraded your current PC or have bought a Windows 11-ready machine. As we said in our Windows 11 review, the operating system is solid but not revolutionary. There’s no urgency in getting Windows 11, especially if it means putting your computer at risk.

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.


  • Wolfshadw
    Hmmm....

    Download Windows 11 from a non-Microsoft site and get malware.
    In other news, water is wet!

    -Wolf sends
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    "This campaign is targeted at folks whose PCs fail to meet Microsoft’s stringent Windows 11 hardware requirements."

    Trying not to be mean, but....hahaha
    Reply