Microsoft’s free video editing software, Windows Movie Maker, was discontinued in January 2017, however, scammers have been using the demand for this product to trick users into downloading a fake version in an attempt to collect money.
This fake download link has succeeded in reaching a global audience due to it’s high ranking on both Google and Bing search engines. The good news for ESET users, however, is that ESET security products detect the scam and block the website distributing it.
On the 5th of November 2017, Win32/Hoax.MovieMaker was the third most detected threat worldwide.
The scam operates by getting the user to install the software resembling Windows Movie Maker which then prompts the user to upgrade to the full version requiring a payment of $29,95. The user is prompted to do this upon installation and again upon attempting to save a new document.
How to stay safe
If you have already installed the fake Movie Maker from windows-movie-maker.org, uninstall it and run a scan using a reputable antimalware solution. To see the ESET product offering for East Africa please click here.
To avoid falling victim to scams such as this one, be sure to stick to official sources when downloading software. Find downloads on official websites and do not click on download links directly from search engines. If you really need to use a piece of software that’s no longer distributed by its original maker, make sure you:
- Use a reliable security solution to detect and block malicious content.
- Consider using the official replacement for the discontinued software – in this case, Windows Story Remix.
- Don’t pay for software that is or was officially offered for free. Information on software pricing should be available online.
For more information on how ESET products can protect you from these scams go to our ESET East Africa website.