This should hardly come as news to many, but fake installers of Windows 11 are spreading malware. It is incredibly important that you only download the operating system directly from Microsoft.
- Only download Windows 11 directly from Microsoft
- Spreads malware that can infect your computer with Trojans
- Easy to try Windows 11 completely legitimate (and free!)
Read more: To see if your computer can use Windows 11
Entices with free activation of Windows 11
As soon as Microsoft introduces a new operating system, cybercriminals begin work on finding new ways to spread their malicious code on the Internet.
One way is to offer fake installers that are supposed to include a so-called activator to unlock Windows for free. And that’s exactly what’s happening right now with Windows 11.
Although the operating system is both free for most and has not yet been released, fake Windows 11 installers are spreading on various, shady websites and torrents.
Just downloading from the wrong site risks damaging your computer. It’s even worse for anyone trying to install Windows 11 because it can immediately spread the malicious code.
Read more: Windows 11 Home requires you to have a Microsoft account
Security companies warn of malicious code in fake Windows 11 files
Security firm Kaspersky has identified several fake installers for Windows 11.
The most widespread right now seems to be hot “86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator.exe”. It has a file size of 1.75GB and is a very early preview version that leaked even before Microsoft officially introduced Windows 11.
The file “activator.exe” does almost nothing, and does not activate the operating system at Micrsoft. All it does is add a useless dll file according to Kaspersky.
If you try to install Windows 11 with the malicious download, the installer will infect your computer with so-called spyware and adware. In some cases, depending on which fake installer you are using, Trojans can also be installed that try to steal files or login information, for example.
Read more: Downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10
Easy to try Windows 11 yourself – safely
If you want to try Windows 11 today (just do not do it on your regular computer), before the operating system is ready to be released, do so easily via Microsoft’s own website.
By logging in to your Microsoft account and joining the free Windows Insider program, you get the chance to try new Windows as much as you want.
It is safer, easier and much smoother than downloading potentially malicious and unverified software from a non-Microsoft foam website.
You can read more about Windows Insider and participate in the program here. Do not want to click on the link? Go to Google and search for Windows Insider. The top search result with insider.windows.com is what to look for.