Beware! Fake Windows 11 installers doing rounds, can infect your PC: Tips to stay safe

Microsoft has already announced the next iteration of Windows dubbed the Windows 11, but the stable update isn’t available for everyone to download yet. Microsoft will release Windows 11 later this year, most like around September and October. The exact date is yet to be revealed by the tech company.

While the official/stable build release of Windows 11 is yet to happen, users are flocking to different installers available on the internet to experience the next generation of Windows.

Fake Windows 11 installers doing rounds

Ahead of the official release, the preview version of the Windows 11 is already available for download. This opportunity is being used by cybercriminals to slip in malware into devices. There are several fake Windows 11 installers available on the internet that are duping users. As per a Kaspersky report, the most common way with which cybercriminals deceive users is by “slipping in something extra (or else).”

One of many such fake installers comes with an executable file name 86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator.exe. The Kaspersky report reveals that this fake installer comes with a file size as large as 1.75GB and looks “plausible”. The report states that the “bulk of that space consists of one DLL file that contains a lot of useless information.”

Installing an executable file looks similar to an ordinary Windows installation wizard, so you will not be able to spot much difference at the beginning. The main purpose of such files is to download and run another executable, which is an installer as well and even comes with a license agreement that states that it would install some sponsored software. Once you agree the agreement, several malicious programs will be installed on your device.

How to keep your device safe: Few tips

Tip 1: Download Windows 11 from official sources only. This also Microsoft advises. Windows 11 is officially available only to participants in the Windows Insider program. To install the update, you’ll need a device with Windows 10 already installed.

Tip 2: To upgrade Windows 10 PC to Windows 11, head to Settings, click Update & Security, then select Windows Insider Program and activate Dev Channel to get the update.

Tip 3: As per Kaspersky you must use a reliable security solution and never disable it. This ensures that cybercriminals do not gain access to your PC through social engineering or vulnerabilities in the not-ready-for-primetime system.