View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
  2. Cybersecurity
February 17, 2015updated 19 Aug 2016 3:58pm

Full Windows 10 activation not what it seems

Eager adopters of Microsoft's newest OS should beware.

By Jimmy Nicholls

A phoney offer of a free Windows 10 upgrade is being used by scammers to trick consumers into installing malware, according to the security vendor Malwarebytes.

Misleading videos uploaded to YouTube show a fake activation tool seemingly being used to upgrade the trial version of Windows 10 to the premium edition, with the software in question actually downloading potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) to the victim’s machine.

Christopher Boyd, malware intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes, said on the firm’s blog: "Playing around with preview versions of Windows 10 is a great way to become acquainted with what it has to offer, but fans should definitely think twice about going too far and ending up with potentially unwanted programs or – worst case scenario – malware."

Other similar campaigns are said to be making use of "survey hoops" before the promised download, whilst others ask the user to deactivate their antivirus software before they run the phoney activation software.

Another YouTube video even offers a supposed "gamer edition" of Microsoft’s operation system (OS), despite the fact no such thing exists.

"Files similar to the above are being uploaded daily, and you likely won’t know what you’re running until it’s too late," Boyd said.

"Even without those potential scenarios, there are other issue to consider should you wish to try Windows 10 out," he added, referring to the dangers of installing the technical preview alongside previous system installations, which can be affected by glitches on the newer OS.

Content from our partners
Green for go: Transforming trade in the UK
Manufacturers are switching to personalised customer experience amid fierce competition
How many ends in end-to-end service orchestration?

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.
THANK YOU