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Person Holding a Phone That Says "Malware"

Posted on Friday, June 7, 2024 in Privacy & Security

Scam of the Week: Malware Office Suite

“You get what you pay for,” and this week’s scam is no exception. Cybercriminals are distributing a “free” pirated version of Microsoft Office across torrenting websites. The catch is that it’s actually malware. If you download and install it, the malware can begin harvesting your personal data.

If you download the malicious Microsoft Office file, the installation process appears to be legitimate. The installer looks professional and even allows you to select the version of Microsoft Office you would like to install. However, if you run the file, malware will install on your computer. The malware is designed to avoid detection from most antivirus systems. Even if your antivirus software scans and removes it, this particular malware can re-install itself afterward. This “free” version of Microsoft may actually cost you something after all - your personal data!

Follow these tips to avoid falling victim to a malware scam: 

  • Never download software from unofficial sources. A pirated version of the software isn't an official release, and it may contain malware. 

  • If something is too good to be true, it probably is. Microsoft Office is a software that you would normally pay for, and a free version isn't likely to be legitimate. 

  • Be sure to follow your organization's instructions regarding antivirus software and data backups. Having updated software and data backups can help to protect your machine from a malware infection. 

Stop, Look, and Think. Don't be fooled. 

Article provided by:

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