Unofficial Windows 11 Installers Inject Malware

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Did you know that acquiring software from unofficial sources would infect your computer with malware, viruses, and general nastiness? Good, because unofficial Windows 11 installers available from the dark corners of the internet are injecting malicious malware onto host PCs.

Originally reported by BGR, Antivirus powerhouse Kaspersky has uncovered an executable file named ‘86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator.exe’. Weighing in at 1.75GB, it’s actually a file full of bulky .dll full of nonsense with no sign of Windows 11. Opening this executable then starts to download “download manager for 86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator”, which installs sponsored bloat-ware and in some cases Trojans, exploits, password stealers, and more.

Stay Legit

The most annoying thing about all of this is that people don’t need to go to such lengths to download a legitimate copy of Windows 11. By simply going to Settings > Update and Security > Windows Insider Program and signing up using a Microsoft account, users can then run the installation from there once the proper developer channel option has been selected.

If Windows states that your machine cannot run Windows 11, this will not change if you torrent or download illegitimate software from a fly-by-night website. Stay safe and get Windows 11 the right way, otherwise, that upgrade you’re trying to avoid may end up being a repair. For help on all things Windows 11, make sure to bookmark our Windows 11 hub.

Christian 'Reggie' Waits' is a contributor to PC Guide, having written a wide array of how to and buying guide content.