I haven’t come across this particular scam before today… but when I opened a link to Lonely Planet from a Google search I had just performed for places to visit in Costa Rica, a window opened in its place telling me I needed to update my Flash player. It then automatically downloaded a file called MplayerX.dmg. Yeah, I’m sure that’s an Adobe Flash update.
I head to adobe.com. Turns out Google Chrome will automatically update my Flash player as needed.
I ran a search on the phrasing in a little pop up window on the suspicious page:
A critical security update has been released and you are required to update your Flash Player.
This page will automatically close once the security update has been installed.
What do I find? Plenty of evidence of this being the front for malware. It only stands out because it’s the first time I’ve had it happen on my Mac in nearly a decade of use. Looks like the old Windows problems are coming this way.
This particular page came from: http:// quickflashupdates. info /mac/f3/?subid=mbs-f3-ca&transaction_id=e6a03f6f-c817-4de0-b63f-8a74160d66d2&rand= 5480b6818de5c&entry=y&auto=y (I’ve added a couple of spaces so this doesn’t create any hyperlinks to spread the grossness further). But it appears it can show up on any number of sites in a variety of formats.
What should you do if you see it?
- Whatever you do, DON’T install the program this page downloaded.
- Check with adobe.com to ensure you have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player on your machine.
- If the page came through while you were doing a search, most search engines have a page where you can report any suspicious activity and websites. I copied and pasted the link to the page to Google’s malware reporting service with a brief description of the search I had just done.
- Delete any programs that may have automatically downloaded themselves immediately.
- Continue on with life as normal and remain wary of any program telling you that there’s a critical update that must be installed until you’ve confirmed with main website for said program.