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Prompting me to download JAVA

New Here ,
Nov 17, 2020 Nov 17, 2020

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can yanyyone advise if this is a scam? I continue to get prompts to download java script and then it sends me to this webstie (screengrabs attached)

 

https://get2.adobe.com/flashplayer/

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Adobe Employee , Nov 24, 2020 Nov 24, 2020
The URL above looks legitimate, although I'd use the more generic: https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ That screenshot from 8.56.45 AM is SUPER sketchy.  It's definitely not an Adobe download page. My guess is that they're asking you to install Java so that their malware installer can run.  The actual Java window looks like the native MacOS dialogue that will pop up when you don't have Java, but Flash Player doesn't require Java to install -- so that's definitely sketchy. So yeah, all of th...

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Nov 17, 2020 Nov 17, 2020

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JavaScript isn't something you can download. But Java is. Neither one is connected to Flash Player. So I would be VERY suspicious. What are you doing when you get these messages? What is your system and browser?

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New Here ,
Nov 17, 2020 Nov 17, 2020

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The pop up states that to use the Java command line tool you need to install a JDK (pls refer to screengrab from previous post). When I click on "more info" it sends me to the website https://get2.adobe.com/flashplayer/

 

I'm not sure which process is triggering the prompt, however none of myyy adobe products are running. 

 

I'm running Catalina 10.15.7 on an iMac. Browsing using Chrome. 

 

Thank you!

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 17, 2020 Nov 17, 2020

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What happens when you disconnect from the Internet?

 

 

 

Nancy O'Shea, Adobe Product User & Community Professional
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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New Here ,
Nov 18, 2020 Nov 18, 2020

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I'm not sure. The prompt only appears every once in a while and I'm not sure what triggers it.  I have to be on fairly constant internet for work... 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 18, 2020 Nov 18, 2020

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It could be caused by a website, old software or some script or virus on your system. 

 

Nancy O'Shea, Adobe Product User & Community Professional
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 24, 2020 Nov 24, 2020

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The URL above looks legitimate, although I'd use the more generic:

https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

 

That screenshot from 8.56.45 AM is SUPER sketchy.  It's definitely not an Adobe download page.

 

My guess is that they're asking you to install Java so that their malware installer can run.  The actual Java window looks like the native MacOS dialogue that will pop up when you don't have Java, but Flash Player doesn't require Java to install -- so that's definitely sketchy.

 

So yeah, all of this is sketchy.  I'd back away slowly.  I'd power-cycle the router and update the firmare from a trusted computer before doing anything else.  If you're still seeing sketchy content like this on legitimate URLs after that, it sounds like you have an active malware problem and it's swapping out content on the machine.  

 

Here's my generic "you've got malware" guidance for what your options are and how to best proceed.

 

If you've encountered a site offering fake Flash Player downloads, please send a screenshot and a fully copy of the URL(s) involved to phishing@adobe.com.

 

Our phishing team will follow up with appropriate actions on the website side of things.  In general, it's better to avoid posting malicious links to the forums.  We don't want anyone accidentally clicking them, and the more sophisticated delivery mechanisms engineer the URLs for one-time use (it's hard to serve a takedown notice if you can't show someone that the URL is delivering malware).

 

The US Federal Trade Commission has some good advice on avoiding malware in general:
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0011-malware
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/129972

 

Here's the advice that I typically share to people that were either tricked into installing malware, or are seeing fake update notifications, but haven't been lured into actually running those installers:

 

Unfortunately, because Flash Player is installed on billions of computers, it's a common target for impersonation for people distributing malware.

 

As an industry, we've done a pretty good job of defending against technical attacks that allow bad guys to install software without your authorization.  In 2018, it's really difficult to do (assuming you're running a modern operating system and not something from 2005, in which case, you should get on that).

 

The result is that human factors are now the path of least resistance.  It's easier to trick you into installing something on behalf of the attacker, vs. figuring out how to defeat all of the security stuff required to do it without your express permission.

 

In general, you're better off setting everything to update automatically.  You can then go through life assuming that any update notifications you get are bogus.  This is actually what we strongly recommend, and it generally applies to anything tasked with handing untrusted communication (the operating system, your web browser, flash player, etc.).  The inconvenience of something functional breaking because of an update pales in comparison to the pain of recovering from identity theft.

 

Here are a few guidelines that will minimize your risk of getting tricked into installing malware:

Wherever possible, use your operating system's App Store for downloading and updating software
When software you want (like Flash Player) isn't available from the App Store for your operating system, always navigate directly to the vendor's website.  If you need to search for the download, that's cool -- but avoid "download" sites, and find the vendor's actual download link

 

Never download stuff from a link in an email or update dialog.  Type it in.  It's easy to disguise fake URLs in links using internationalized characters and things (e is not the same as è, but it might be really easy to miss if you're not looking closely).  If it's a link from a URL shortener service like tinyurl.com/abcde or bit.ly/abcde, you don't know what the end result is going to be, and you're probably wise to just head to Google to find what you need instead.
When the software offers automatic updates, just turn them on and stop worrying about maintaining all the moving parts running on your computer.  The threat landscape is so much different than it was 10-15 years ago.  Enable updates so that you're getting critical patches as soon as they become available.  Be confident that any subsequent update notifications are probably fake, and act accordingly (either ignore them, or consult the vendor for guidance before doing anything).

 

For Flash Player specifically:

Always download Flash Player from here: 
https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

When you install, choose the default option of "Allow Adobe to Install Updates (recommended)", and we'll keep it updated for you.

 

Google Chrome ships Flash Player as a built-in component, and keeps it updated automatically.  There's nothing separate to download, install or configure.

 

Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer on Windows 8 and higher also include Flash Player as a built-in component of their browser, and updates are handled automatically through Windows Update.  Again, as long as Windows Update is enabled, there's nothing to download or configure.


If you've actually installed malware on your machine (which in this instance, it sounds like you have):  

There is a large universe of unknown unknowns, but the important thing to know is that malware authors at this point are professionals.  They test against popular antivirus and cleanup tools.  Good malware is going to first establish a foothold, but the second order of business would be to ensure resilience. 

If you've run cleanup tools and have removed the obvious visible signs of the malware infection, that may be adequate, but you're putting a lot of faith into the efficacy of those tools.  In most situations, it's difficult to determine whether or not you've eradicated everything that was installed, and you should weigh those risks carefully.  Without significants expertise, and/or an exhaustive and expensive forensic analysis, there are no guarantees.


If it were me, I'd probably back up all of the critical data on the machine and then burn the whole thing down and start from scratch (i.e. format the hard disk, reinstall the operating system and applications from pristine sources, install a reputable antivirus utility, scan my backups and then restore them. 

 

I'd then go buy a password manager like LastPass/OnePass/KeyPass/etc. and set about ensuring that I have unique, strong passwords for each of the important online services that I use (including any email services that could be used to reset those passwords), and set up two-factor authentication wherever it's offered.

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