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Fake 'Update your browser' Message

Posted: August 24, 2011

Screenshot'Update your browser' message is a fake error that's created by malicious websites that try to lure you into installing malicious software without knowing that that's what you're doing. The 'Update your browser' message method of harmful software distribution can be applied to any form of malware, but many recent uses of this tactic have occurred with worms, spyware, dropper Trojans and rogue security programs. If you've installed a fake update from an 'Update your browser' message website, consider your PC infected and take appropriate steps to scan your system with an anti-malware program. Allowing an 'Update your browser' message infection to remain on your computer can result in loss of private information, account break-ins, remote control of your system by hackers or serious damage to the PC.

The Danger That's Behind the Facade of a 'Update your browser' Message

The 'Update your browser' message is just one variant of a common theme that SpywareRemove.com malware research team has found in recent years – that of a fake software update that's being peddled as the real thing, when, in truth, 'Update your browser' message only serves as a candy coating around a malicious program. The exact message can have many variants, but is often encountered when you click on links from unsafe sources (such as spam email messages) that are used to disseminate these links in bulk.

The 'Update your browser' message message's traditional form is shown below in the following quote:

"Update your browser
This page does not support your version of browser. Please update your software.
Browser update"

This message will display on a hostile website, often with a background that imitates a normal Adobe Flash or Microsoft-affiliated website. The serious difference, however, is that the link that the 'Update your browser' message provides is a decoy that doesn't direct you to real browser updates.

'Update your browser' messages can be used to infect your PC with any form of malicious software, although worms, dropper Trojans, spyware and rogue security programs are the most likely payloads. Examples of all of these include TSPY_ZBOT.FAZ, Trojan-dropper.win32.VB.agtq, Total Security and Windows Troublemakers Agent. Signs of these infections can include browser hijacks, altered security or network settings, unusual memory processes in Task Manager or unusual system resource usage.

Why the 'Update your browser' Message Doesn't Need to Make You Its Latest Victim

Although 'Update your browser' message may appear to be convincing, exercising basic and preventative PC security tactics can help you to avoid a 'Update your browser' message infection. The following are strongly recommended methods of avoiding 'Update your browser' message infection routes that SpywareRemove.com malware researchers have examined:

  • Only download software updates from the appropriate websites and always navigate to these websites without using external links. Since many 'Update your browser' message infections can't attack your PC if you don't try to install the fake update, using reliable file sources can be the ultimate form of protection.
  • Keep your web browser and security-related programs up-to-date as much as possible. This will prevent drive-by-download scripted attacks and other infection vectors from taking advantage of vulnerabilities in your system.
  • Avoid links from unusual sources or even links from normal sources that you haven't confirmed to be safe. Spam email messages that can distribute 'Update your browser' message links may pretend to be from someone you know or contain generic forms of greetings to fool you with social engineering.

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