The release of a new operating platform is always a big occasion, and when the OS in question is Windows, there is nothing bigger, neither for consumers nor for cybercriminals.

Malicious entities did their best to exploit the situation with Windows 8, and now they are back in full force with the newest flavor of Windows.

The RTM version of Windows 8.1 has already leaked, and a rather large number of users are looking for download links to give the operating system a try before its official release date. The dark nook and corners of the web are now brimming with torrent and direct links to the final RTM build.

But sadly, so are the not so dark nook and corners of the Internet.

Cybercriminals, well aware that this is a major opportunity, have posted several video clips on YouTube and other such social and popular sites in an attempt to scam unsuspecting users and get them to all sorts of malicious websites.

The trick is to have them download a password protected archive (ZIP or RAR file) that is promised to contain the original ISO, activator or serial for Windows 8.1. Instead the users are directed to websites that either monetize the traffic and clicks, or install malware onto the computers of these users.

Some even directly bundle viruses and trojans in the archive itself. Yikes!

It is worth repeating that if you are planning to download the RTM version, either make sure you get it from a trusted source (relatively speaking, of course), or wait for the official release on the Windows Store next month.

More importantly, however, no matter which location you get it from, just make sure you know what you are doing — at all times — to keep yourself and your PC protected.

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  • Ray C

    These people are just pitiful. BTW, is it just more does it seem like new articles are taking later and later into the morning to appear on the site?

  • Mike Greenway

    If you steal a car and then get car jacked, that seems fair.