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Microsoft Removes Fake Bing Ad for Chrome That Potentially Contained Malware

Microsoft Removes Fake Bing Ad for Chrome That Potentially Contained Malware

The fake Chrome download link has been removed from Bing search

  • Bing search showed a fake Chrome download link in top results
  • This link took users to a fake Chrome website
  • The file was owned by a company named Alpha Criteria, and not Google

Redmond giant Microsoft has now removed a fake Bing ad that claimed to be a Chrome download link, but was instead a deceptive one that perhaps installed malware on to your device. This fake link was the top result when users search for keywords like 'download Chrome' on the Edge browser. The link takes users to a fake Chrome site, and even claims to have an authentic file that downloads onto your computer.

HowToGeek report that fake Bing ad takes the user to a website called googleonline2018.com, and it even has an action button called 'Download Chrome.' Pressing this downloads an authenticated file on your computer, however this file isn't authorised by Google, but is instead owned by a company called Alpha Criteria Ltd.

Chrome has been blocking this site for a long time, but somehow Bing and Edge didn't think it important enough to block it. However, Microsoft has now blocked the website in question, and it doesn't show up in Bing search as well. Microsoft's spokesperson told ZDNet, "Protecting customers from malicious content is a top priority and we have removed the ads from Bing and banned the associated account. We encourage users to continue to report this type of content so we can take appropriate action."

Microsoft's rivalry with Google goes way back, and this little slip-up from the tech giant, which takes pride in being secure and anti-malware, makes us wonder if the ad was deliberately left unattended. Whatever the case may be, end users must be extra cautious as to what they download. Double check authenticity, don't just randomly give permission to run any applications, and download only from official websites.


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Further reading: MIcrosoft, Bing
Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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