MSI warned enthusiasts not to download its highly popular Afterburner overclocking utility from a new malicious website gaining traction on the Internet in a blog post Thursday. This website looks identical to MSI's own website, tricking users into believing it's the real thing. But in reality, any downloads visible on the page are loaded with viruses.
The site is called: afterburner-msi.space. (please do not visit this site), so it's immediately apparent this is not MSI's URL.
"This webpage is hosting software which may contain virus, trojan, keylogger, or other type of malicious program that have been disguised to look like MSI Afterburner. DO NOT DOWNLOAD ANY SOFTWARE FROM THIS WEBSITE," MSI's blog says.
MSI noted that Afterburner is still available for legitimate download from its own website. Here is the real link to download MSI's Afterburner utility: https://www.msi.com/Landing/afterburner/graphics-cards.
This is a good reminder for us all to watch out for sketchy links we might come across. Generally, companies will have a primary domain site, like MSI.com, and all its content will be available through that name. Seeing a site called afterburner.com (for example) should immediately raise some red flags, since the site isn't under the MSI.com domain.
Luckily, all modern web browsers provide information on a website's security. There's an icon that appears right behind the address bar that will showcase a site's certifications and if the site is secure. If you're on the Tom's Hardware site right now, right next to the Tom's Hardware URL in your address bar is likely a lock. That lock tells you that the Tom's Hardware domain is secure. Clicking on the lock will give you more details.
Most importantly, you should be using an anti-virus with Internet security if you want to maximize your safety from bogus and fraudulent websites. Even the best of us can get bamboozled into believing a dangerous download or a website is legit.
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Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.