Free Windows 10 Upgrade Email-Scam!
Summary of eRumor:
An email scam claims that you can download a free copy of Windows 10.
A scam involving emails about free Windows 10 upgrades could infect your computer with malware.
Microsoft launched Windows 10 in July 2015, and it was made available as a free upgrade to customers who previously purchased Windows 7 or Windows 8. With millions of users wanting the free upgrade, however, Microsoft set up a waiting list to help it manage all those software downloads, PC World reports:
On Friday, Microsoft sent out an email to users who signed up to reserve their copy of Windows 10. The message says you could be waiting as little as “a few days” or long as a “few weeks” for the upgrade.
“This is the largest software upgrade event ever and we’re managing it so everyone has a great experience,” the company email said. Anyone running Windows 7 or 8.1 is eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 for the next year.
That opened the door for scams that promised a free Windows 10 upgrade right away. One example of the scam email reads:
Windows 10 is familiar and easy to use. It includes an improve Start menu and is designed to startup and resume fast. Plus, it’s packed with new innovations including Microsoft Edge A — an all-new browser. Your personal files and apps you’ve installed will be waiting for you We’ve designed the upgrade to be easy and compatible with the hardware and software you already use.
Don’t miss out as this free offer won’t last forever. Upgrade today. Follow the attached installer and get started.
Grammatical errors and awkward sentences should be giveaways that this is a scam. But an official-looking disclaimer from Microsoft at the bottom of the email, and the fact that it was sent from what appeared to be a Microsoft company email address, duped many people into believing the offer was valid.
After the install button is clicked, a message appears stating that the attachment has been scanned for malware and is “believed to be clean” — but that’s just there to sell the scam. Cisco warns that the attachment will encrypt your computer’s files with ransomware. Once your files are encrypted, they won’t be unlocked until a ransom is paid to the scammers:
The payload is CTB-Locker, a ransomware variant. Currently, Talos is detecting the ransomware being delivered to users at a high rate. Whether it is via spam messages or exploit kits, adversaries are dropping a huge amount of different variants of ransomware. The functionality is standard however, using asymmetric encryption that allows the adversaries to encrypt the user’s files without having the decryption key reside on the infected system. Also, by utilizing Tor and Bitcoin they are able to remain anonymous and quickly profit from their malware campaigns with minimal risk.
Avoid emails about free Windows 10 upgrades — go directly through Microsoft instead.
Click here for information on how to free your computer of ransomware.