MICROSOFT'S BING search engine has been serving up fake links to download Google Chrome, in a way that is definitely not suspicious.
Playing on the long-established trope that Edge is the browser, and Bing the search engine that one uses to download Google Chrome, it could be easy to assume that this is another of Microsoft's occasionally marketing tricks where we are told about how great Edge is as soon as we show any interest in replacing it.
The top result on a Bing search for "download Chrome" takes you to what looks like a standard Chrome download page. However, in reality, it takes you to googleonline2018.com, which includes a link to download an authentic installation file which hasn't been signed by Google, but rather a company named Alpha Criteria.
How to Geek investigated further and found that not only is the advert in question being flagged up by Google in Chrome, yet ignored in Bing, but that it appears that the result was more likely to appear in a Bing Search from Edge.
Oh yes, and Bleeping Computer reported on this exact advert back in April 2018 and nothing appears to have been done. Plus given Microsoft's previous infractions at playing fair, it's not surprising that the company had accusations thrown at it.
Microsoft has confirmed that it has now removed the account that is serving up the advert and it will no longer appear but it does give rise to questions like why it was there in the first place on a platform as big as Bing, for as long as it was, and not being flagged up by algorithms as fake.
If you're stuck, this is a safe link to download the Chrome installation file, but it hides a wider truth - you need to be careful what you download, even if you think the source is a safe one. It's not clear what this particular malware does, but the fact that it's called "malware" and not "super happy funtime wear" is probably a clue that it doesn't dispense kittens. μ
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