Malicious actors are trying to trick users into downloading fake Windows 11 installations that contain bad content.
Microsoft released the first Windows 11 Insider Preview build on June 28 and has been updating it regularly over the past month or so, with the latest build being just about 2 days ago. While the process of upgrading a user’s current PC to Windows 11 is quite simple as they just need to enroll their machine in the Windows Insider Dev channel and install the build, many people have been trying other methods to get it working. get an unofficial ISO and get infected with malware.
Distributing Windows 11 through this fake installer is not complicated at all as it relies on people downloading a shady installer and then clicking on the terms and conditions without reading them to start installation.
This has been proven in a report from Kaspersky when it says that a file named “86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator.exe” is appearing on the internet. Although the file size is 1.75 GB and the name suggests that it contains Windows 11 build 21996.1, it is actually an outdated build that was leaked before Microsoft officially announced the operating system, and a stimulator. The main activity at the top is actually a single copy, while the “DLL file” is useless.
When the user initiates the installation process through this file, it will download and run another executable. It also comes with a formal license agreement that states that certain “sponsored programs” will be installed on the user’s machine. Those who accept it without reading it will have malware installed on that PC.
Kaspersky notes that this software can be anything ranging from adware to trojans or programs that steal credentials. The company says that it has resolved hundreds of infection attempts using this technique to distribute Windows 11.
Kaspersky warns users to use official methods such as the Windows Insider program to install builds and operating systems that are not already installed on the main machine as it can lead to stability issues.