Fake Updates Are a Real Risk

There are lots of types of threats to your digital universe. Ransomware. Malicious emails. Infected text messages and many others.

But here is one that we have not talked much about, but which has been a real problem and is becoming more of a problem and that is fake updates.

We have talked before about logging on to a hotel network (which is infected) or a fake hotspot at your favorite coffee shop (which hotspot doesn’t even belong to the coffee shop) and getting a message that you have an update. Hopefully you don’t fall for those.

But the hackers are getting better. The most recent incarnation is the Vidar malware. It impersonates a Windows 11 download portal. It also shows up in many different incarnations.

Vidar is a kind of info-stealing malware that may be utilized to monitor users. This malicious software can steal login credentials, take screenshots, bank details, etc. Besides general info stealing, Vidar was also discovered downloading and executing additional malware payloads. Moreover, the malware deletes itself from the system after completing its work.

The challenge is how to detect this malicious software masquerading as an update.

It takes a layered approach to win –

  • Make sure that ALL of your software is current – not just the operating system, but all of the applications too
  • Use a firewall. The Windows firewall is okay, but not great. A hardware firewall is much more reliable.
  • Use a VPN when you have to rely on an untrustworthy Internet connection
  • Stay away from those sketchy but enticing websites
  • Stay away from pirated software – they often have unannounced “benefits”
  • Run a really reliable anti-malware tool
  • Make good backups and keep them secure – offline
  • Last but not least – use a DNS filter. There are free and paid ones. DNS filters stop you from visiting known malicious websites. Also adult websites. The good ones are constantly updated, because the malicious website change on a minute by minute basis. One thing that is nice about DNS filters – they work no matter where your computer is or what operating system it is running.

It is a cat and mouse game, but with some work, you can be on the winning side.

If you need help or are looking for DNS filter software, contact us.

Credit: Hackread

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