DriverUpdate Fakeout

driverupdate-email-malware-screenshot

DriverUpdate Fakeout: a reader asks…

I bought a new HP printer and figured out how to install it except that there continues to be a message about getting a “Driver Update” which appears to cost….Is this an important thing to do?  I notice that now I have to turn the power on the printer every time I want to print something…but that doesn’t seem like a big deal.

Alas, you’ve been caught by an imposter to the driver updater app that is NOT from your printer’s manufacturer (HP). Somehow you got snookered into installing a 3rd party driver update program, called DriverUpdate. The email you forwarded to me has hidden malware within it. Just viewing the email forces a computer to attempt to contact a malicious website.

driverupdate-email-malware

Most likely this simply reinforces the exhortation to convince you to buy the software and/or re-installs the DriverUpdate program (if you removed it). If your computer lacks adequate anti-malware protection, this will continue to infect your computer and cause the message popups you mention to keep re-appearing. Of course, once your computer visits that website (on the sly, you may not even see your web browser react), there’s no telling what other malware gets added to your computer’s hard drive.
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The first thing you should do is delete the email, along with your email to me forwarding it. Then empty your trash/deleted items folder.  Next, visit your Control Panel under Add/Remove Programs (or Uninstall a Program), find the entry for DriverUpdate and uninstall it by selecting it (single click) and clicking the uninstall link at the top of the list.

Since it’s also possible that whatever happened that got DriverUpdate installed also installed other malware, you need to bolster your computer’s protection. Purchase, download and install Malwarebytes Premium ($40/year subscription). Once installed and updated, run a complete scan on your computer and remove anything it finds.

 

There are many ways that malicious software like DriverUpdate can get on your computer. For many folks, they surfed to a place to download a legitimate driver, and accidentally clicked on an advertisement link. That link was craftily embedded right where you’d expect a link to download the product you were looking for. In that case, you visited a dodgy website. For other folks, it came in an email that looked like it came from your printer’s manufacturer, but really didn’t (email is so easy to fake).

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Regardless of how it came to you, removing the DriverUpdate program and keeping your computer protected with Malwarebytes should keep this from happening to you again. Of course, it makes sense for you to also learn how to be more suspicious and practice safe computing, I have some tips on that here and here.

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