Threat Database Rogue Websites Something Went Wrong While Displaying This Webpage Pop-Up...

Something Went Wrong While Displaying This Webpage Pop-Up Scam

The 'Something Went Wrong While Displaying This Webpage' pop-up scam is a fraudulent alert designed to deceive users into believing their Web browser has encountered a critical error. This tactic aims to manipulate visitors into following specific instructions that ultimately lead to the deployment of malware on their devices. Understanding the nature of this tactic and the tricks used by cybercriminals is crucial for protecting oneself from its harmful consequences.

The Deceptive Pop-Up Message

The tactic typically manifests as a fake alert, purportedly from Google Chrome, claiming that an error occurred during the latest browser update, causing website malfunctions. The message instructs users to follow a series of steps to resolve the alleged issue, creating a sense of urgency and panic.

The pop-up may display a message similar to the following:

'Something went wrong while displaying this webpage.

There was an error during the latest update of your browser version, causing some websites to malfunction.

Please follow the steps provided to resolve the issue.'

The Scam’s Mechanism

The instructions provided by the tactic are designed to trick users into executing a fraudulent PowerShell script. Typically, the process begins with the user clicking the 'Copy fix' button. Next, they are directed to right-click on the Windows icon and select 'Windows PowerShell (Admin).' Once the terminal window is open, the user is instructed to right-click within it, which executes the copied script. They are then told to wait for the supposed update to complete and finally to refresh the website. By following these steps, users inadvertently execute a PowerShell script that installs malware on their devices. This automation and configuration management tool is misused to distribute various fraudulent software.

Types of Malware Distributed

The malware deployed through this tactic may include a range of harmful software, such as:

  • Ransomware: Encrypts the victim's files and demands a ransom for the decryption key.
  • Trojans: Provides unauthorized access to the victim's system, allowing cybercriminals to perform malicious actions, such as injecting additional payloads.
  • Spyware: Collects sensitive information from the victim's system.
  • Keyloggers: Records keystrokes to capture sensitive information, including login credentials and credit card details.
  • Cryptocurrency Miners: Utilizes the infected device's resources to mine cryptocurrencies without the user's consent.

The Use of Hijacked Legitimate Websites

The "Something Went Wrong While Displaying This Webpage" pop-up may appear on legitimate websites that have been hijacked by cybercriminals. This tactic is commonly used to lend credibility to the scam and increase the likelihood of users falling victim to the deceptive message.

The 'Something Went Wrong While Displaying This Webpage' pop-up scam is a sophisticated method employed by cybercriminals to deploy malware on unsuspecting users' devices. By creating a sense of urgency and presenting a seemingly legitimate error message, fraudsters manipulate users into executing harmful scripts. To avoid falling victim to such tactics, users should ignore these pop-ups and refrain from following any provided instructions. Staying informed about these tactics and maintaining vigilance when encountering unexpected alerts online is essential for safeguarding one's digital security.


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