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Notepad2: Adware bundle from unofficial websites

If you are considering downloading the Notepad replacement, ie Notepad2, you should be careful about the site from which you will download, as many are sites that resemble the official page of the application. Instead of the standard application, Notepad2 is combined with promotional offers.

notepad2 unofficial

We recently tried to download Notepad2 in Windows 10. As the Windows installation had just been completed (it was a virtual machine), we opened Edge and searched for the term "Notepad2" in the Bing search engine. The first results Bing brought was the Notepad2.com link, where we chose. What we have forgotten since the last time we downloaded the application is that the official page is flos-freeware.ch.

A small change we noticed on the fake page was that the Notepad2 logo is much like the Notepad ++ logo, and that its design page has improved a lot! So starting downloading for our system, in the host machine (except for the virtual machine), the ESET antivirus we use detected and interrupted a malicious file transfer. As the download was interrupted and we noticed the site a bit better, at the bottom of the page, behind the cookies announcement, there was a text that said it was a non-official page.

By disabling the Host machine ESET we were able to download the malicious file and run it. During the installation there were offers for installing Opera and the War Thunder game.

Finally, from our little adventure we can understand that as much knowledge we have about computers and their security, there is always a way to get infected. Fortunately, in our case, antivirus has been able to detect and stop downloading the malicious file.

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