Beware The Adobe Flash Update Scam

Posted: December 4, 2014 in Search
Tags: , , , ,

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.

Screenshot of the malware page I encountered to update Adobe Flash Player.

Screenshot of the malware page I encountered to update Adobe Flash Player.

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?

  1. Whatever you do, DON’T install the program this page downloaded.
  2. Check with adobe.com to ensure you have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player on your machine.
  3. 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.
  4. Delete any programs that may have automatically downloaded themselves immediately.
  5. 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.

Safe surfing!

 

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Comments
  1. rgraeter2 says:

    This hit me and unfortunately, I have been so conditioned by Adobe to expect updates that I fell for it. No virus/malware/adware protection package recognizes or removes this malware yet, which makes it particualrly annoying. Your post is literally the only one on the Internet, so kudos to you for reporting it first! Now we just need a remedy. I have deleted MplayerX and then completely uninstalled and reinstalled Chrome. Waiting to see if that works . . .

  2. rgraeter2 says:

    And . . . reinstalling Chrome did not work. Random tabs to chat with scantily clad Russian woman or play some sleezy browser game keep opning up. Ugh!

  3. Wendy Peters says:

    Oh no! That’s unfortunate. I’m thankful I caught it before anything got installed… hope you don’t need a complete system wipe to rid yourself of it!

  4. rgraeter2 says:

    I have tried everything so far, still getting auto-opening tab with ads. I just installed Ad Blocker Pro on Chrome so we’ll see if that stops it. I also sent a note to Bitdefender – no reply yet. This is so new that none of the malware scanners seem to be able to fix it! Argh!

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