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PC enthusiasts adore MSI’s Afterburner utility, and it’s easy to see why. The free GPU monitoring tool can be used for everything from overclocking to checking your graphics card’s temperature to capturing gameplay footage, and better yet, it works with both Nvidia GeForce and AMD Radeon hardware—a versatile feature set unmatched by most rivals. But now bad actors are piggybacking on Afterburner’s popularity to potentially trick people into downloading malware, MSI warns.
This morning, the company posted an ominous announcement:
“MSI is informing the public of a malicious software being disguised as the official MSI Afterburner software. The malicious software is being unlawfully hosted on a suspicious website impersonating as MSI’s official website with the domain name https://afterburner-msi.space. MSI has no relation with this website or the aforementioned domain.
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.”
Listen to the warning, people. MSI used caps lock so you know it’s serious. If you’ve already downloaded the fake version of Afterburner, be sure to eradicate it from your system and run full scans with your security software.
MSI says that “Necessary actions to remove the malicious imposter website are underway,” and the offender already appears offline. Still, this is a sterling reminder that you should only download software from official sources. Even then, you want to scan any files you’ve downloaded with an antivirus solution before you open it, as even legitimate websites can serve up poisoned installs if they’ve been compromised. (Just ask Classic Shell and the Linux Mint distro.)
You can snag the official, malware-free version of Afterburner from MSI’s website. And if you need help safeguarding your PC, our roundup of the best Windows antivirus software can point you in the right direction.
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Senior editor Brad Chacos covers gaming and graphics for PCWorld, and runs the morning news desk for PCWorld, Macworld, Greenbot, and TechHive. He tweets too.