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Digital Seattle Blog

Digital Seattle has been serving the Seattle area since 1996, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Fake Browser Updates Pose a Dangerous Threat

Fake Browser Updates Pose a Dangerous Threat

It’s important to keep the software on your computer updated. If your operating system or web browser or some other important application is out of date, it could lead to things not working properly while also leaving you susceptible to threats. However, hackers are disguising malware to look like important web browser updates.

Fake/Malicious Updates are Everywhere, But Apple Users are Seeing a Huge Rise in this Threat

Hopefully, we’re long past the days when the typical Apple user believes that their Mac is immune to viruses and malware. We’re bringing up Apple users in particular, because this particular strain of malware is running rampant on MacOS, but it targets both Windows and Mac devices. In fact, it’s one of the first social engineering campaigns that target both operating systems with fake browser updates.

It works like this:

A legitimate-looking window or popup will tell you that you need to download the latest version of Google Chrome or Safari. It will tell you that there are security fixes, or an update available, and ask you to download the update or simply click a button to update your browser.

In fact, this looks so legitimate that it could fool just about anyone.

Instead of installing a legitimate update, however, your computer will become infected with malware called Atomic Stealer, which is designed to steal your credentials, cookies, and browser history. It also captures your screen and records everything you type. In other words, it’s extremely dangerous. Atomic Stealer isn’t necessarily a new threat; it’s been around for a number of years, but this is just another way it can trick users into letting it spread.

How to Prevent Fake Browser Updates

As always, all computers and laptops need to have antivirus software that is kept updated. 

You should also make sure that you always use multi-factor authentication on any account that allows it, as an added layer of protection in case your passwords are compromised.

Avoid clicking on suspicious links and downloading attachments. This is just common sense, but it’s always worth mentioning as it’s one of the most common ways malware can infect your computer.

Finally, only install updates and software from legitimate sources.

How to Update Google Chrome:

Open your Chrome Browser and click on the three-dot icon on the top right. Then click Help > About Google Chrome and a new tab will appear that will check to see if you are running the latest version and allow you to update if a new version is available.

How to Update Safari

Go to the Apple menu > System Settings. Then click Software Update. If there are any updates, the updates will run, and then have you restart to finish the process.

If you are seeing warnings or notifications, it’s best to talk to an IT professional, like the ones at Digital Seattle. Give us a call at (206) 709-9556 if you need any assistance.

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