Fake Windows 11 Installers Are Spreading Malware

If you want to try out Windows 11, you need to be really careful because according to Kaspersky, there are fake Windows 11 installers out there that are serving up malware:

Microsoft hasn’t yet released Windows 11, but the new operating system is already available for download and preview. Cybercriminals, of course, are exploiting that, slipping malware to users who think they’re downloading Microsoft’s new operating system.


One example involves an executable file called 86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator.exe. With a file size as large as 1.75GB, it certainly looks plausible. In fact, though, the bulk of that space consists of one DLL file that contains a lot of useless information.

Opening the executable starts the installer, which looks like an ordinary Windows installation wizard. Its main purpose is to download and run another, more interesting executable. The second executable is an installer as well, and it even comes with a license agreement (which few people read) calling it a “download manager for 86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator” and noting that it would also install some sponsored software. If you accept the agreement, a variety of malicious programs will be installed on your machine.

Nasty. The article from Kaspersky tells you how to safely download Windows 11 onto a computer that already has Windows 10. But this makes it clear that you have to be careful if you want to try out Microsoft newest OS as clearly cyber criminals are out there to pwn you.

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