Deceptive Installers Tips | Avast

Deceptive Installers Tips | Avast
Christopher Budd, 22 April 2021

If a program costs something on a trusted site but is free somewhere else, there’s something suspicious going on

Have you ever downloaded a program you needed, only to realize that it’s actually something else? And then had your antivirus software flag it? It can be confusing and upsetting to fall for a deceptive installer — and the Avast Threat Labs can help you learn how to avoid them.
When you fall for a deceptive installer, you get malware or software you didn’t expect, instead of what you thought you were getting. Fortunately, in addition to the protections that Avast provides you, there are ways you can spot deceptive installers and prevent this from happening altogether. Here are tips from our researchers based on what we’ve seen.
Let’s walk through the process with this example of a game that’s available on a well-known, global gaming site for three Euro (a little over three dollars).

However, if you go to an unofficial download site, they’re offering you that same game for free, as shown below.

This should be your first clue that there is something fishy on this download portal: As a rule if a game or program costs something on a well-known, trusted site but is free somewhere else, it’s likely not really free. There’s something suspicious going on.
In this example, if you click on the download button you’re taken to a download page, like below, with the game in question (along with other games) available for “free” download.

Here comes another clue to help you spot fakes: the file names of the downloads follow a pattern of: _number.exe. ..