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Why it matters: MSI has become the latest in a long line of companies to have a malicious duplicate of its official website created by hackers. The hardware giant is warning people not to visit the site, which contains a malware-loaded piece of software disguised as the popular MSI Afterburner overclocking app.
“The fraudulent website imitates MSI’s official webpage appearance and design, and offers downloads for MSI’s Afterburner. 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,” writes MSI, adopting the all-caps technique often seen in angry Facebook posts.
As is usually the case with fake duplicate websites, the URL matches the original closely enough that some people may not notice the difference.
What doubtlessly helped the hackers spread their malicious software was the official Afterburner software link on MSI’s page being temporarily closed for routine maintenance, leaving people searching for the app at alternative sites. You can download multiple versions of Afterburner safely and securely right here.
MSI says “necessary actions” to remove the malicious imposter website are underway. “We condemn the infringement on our proprietary rights and the damage it has caused to MSI’s reputation,” it adds.
The fake site now appears to be inaccessible, but hackers often make another doppelganger with a similar URL whenever one of their creations is taken down, so it's best to remain vigilant.