“Flash Player Upgrade Required” Fake Message – Don’t Get Fooled

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‘Flash Player Upgrade Required’ Fake Message Description

Criminals typically use the ‘Flash Player Upgrade Required’ fake message to deliver Trojans and other malware disguised as fake updates for Adobe Flash. The ‘Flash Player Upgrade Required’ fake message has been linked to scams on social networks, such as Facebook, in which a fake viral video will be posted repeatedly – usually promising attractive women, outrageous stunts or a great special offer. Regardless of the supposed content of the video, clicking on its link will result in the appearance of the ‘Flash Player Upgrade Required’ fake message. Of course, if you click on this message in order to ‘update’ the Flash Player, the file that will be downloaded will probably be anything but a legitimate update for Adobe Flash. Criminals use the ‘Flash Player Upgrade Required’ fake message to distribute Trojans that are designed to deliver rogue security programs or open up a backdoor into the infected computer system.

Websites associated with the ‘Flash Player Upgrade Required’ fake message will often carry other kinds of malware threats or attackers that try to exploit security vulnerabilities in your Internet browser or operating system. If you get this message while you are surfing, you should close your Internet browser (which most likely will be Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome) and then scan your computer for any possible malware infections. YOU SHOULD NEVER EVER (EVER EVER) click on the actual “Flash Player Upgrade Required” message.

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Possible Sources of the ‘Flash Player Upgrade Required’ Fake Message

The ‘Flash Player Upgrade Required’ fake message is linked to social media scams in which infected users will post some kind of video which will then refuse to play and instead display the insidious message. However, the ‘Flash Player Upgrade Required’ fake message has also been linked to streaming video websites, which lure their victims with promises of pirated movies, or to porn sites promising “stolen” or “secret” pictures and videos of someone famous naked or having sex,  and instead are simply vehicles for distributing dangerous Trojan and rootkit infections through social engineering and deceptive practices.  At this point you may be thinking, I don’t go to any of those kind of sites, like was previously said, these kind of fake pop up messages can come up at any time and from any site that has been compromised, no matter how big or famous the site is.

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Another thing to keep in mind, when you attempt to close the window for the fake “Flash Player Upgrade Required” message, you may see other non-flash messages, which are also fake. Messages like “Warning: Your pc may have critical security vulnerabilities…”. The message looking like it’s coming from your ISP and asking you to call a phone number.  The number and the message (I can promise you) DO NOT COME FROM YOUR ISP. If you do a web search for the number that comes up, you will see that it’s actually from Eastern Europe or Russia. Again, the criminals are trying to use social engineering to get into your machine or get your personal data.

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Solutions If You Have Fallen For Fake Message

Of course it can’t be repeated enough times, if you see a fake message like these you should immediately close the browser. However, if you have clicked these messages here are some option for you to follow

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  • Use an alternative browser – Have more than one browser installed.  If you’re using IE, for example, and you can’t seem to access the internet all of a sudden, you should open and try Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or whatever other browser you have installed. Sometimes the malware only affects the browser that was open when you get the fake message.
  • Start Windows in Safe Mode – If you can not access your Window’s desktop, reboot your computer in ‘Safe Mode with Networking’ by pressing the F6 key while the computer is starting up. Safe mode will only start a minimal number of functions required to run windows.
  • Check Your Version Of Flash – If you want to check your computer to see if you are using the latest version Flash, visit the Adobe Flash site.

Final Thoughts

As a tech, cleaning up computers that have been infected with malware like this means I get to charge $300 to $400 minimum.  However, I will be very happy if people learn to avoid these situations. I would love to be able to focus on other things, instead of malware clean up.

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