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Lately, I've been getting warning popups on my browser (latest version of Chromium) that notify me that my Java version of the current browser is outdated and needs to be updated.

What's alarming to me is that it sends me to some sites I've never heard of like Malest.com.

When I block a site, it redirects me to a different one. I don't know how to track what is causing these alerts. I ran Microsoft Security Essential and it found nothing.

Any suggestions on what to do to nail down this irritating problem?

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For the google chrome, its very possible that you have an Extension that cause that behavior.

Go to the menu | Extensions and disable the one that you do not know and not use.

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  • I don't use many extensions and the ones I use are very reputable that never gave me any issues (AdBlock, FlashBlock etc). Thanks for the suggestion though. – Kingamoon Jul 2 '13 at 5:45
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If you are seeing it happen on all sites, then you might have a bad browser extension or other system-level malware like a virus.

However based on your description and experience, I suspect that you are only seeing this happen on some sites, in which case, those are likely just regular popups. Some sites are designed so that as soon as you click anywhere on the page, it pops up (or under) an ad page in a new window (some do this only once per day, others do it every single time).

The ad pages can be regular ads, but many now use social-engineering and phishing to push scareware with things like warnings about outdated software (Java, Flash, etc.), virus infections, and so on. They can be quite convincing too because they specifically try to make them look like native programs or legitimate websites.

Of course these are not to be trusted and you should make sure that you are using security and anti-phishing software. Chromium (and Chrome) has a built-in anti-phishing system, so make sure it is enabled (though it may not yet include a given site).

Chromium’s built-in phishing protection setting

Also make sure that your popup-blocking setting is correct and no exceptions have been added:

Screenshot of Chrome’s popup-blocker settings

Screenshot of Chrome’s popup-blocker exception list

Figure 3: A fake Flash update page that warns you of security and performance issues with Flash and prompts you to update. Note the use of genuine looking styles and themes for the page to match that of authentic Adobe Flash pages (at least at the time). Also note how the URL of the page itself and of all of the links on the page are to somewhere other than Adobe.

Screenshot of FAKE Adobe Flash update prompt page

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  • (I’ll add some screenshots of the ads the next time I see it happen.) – Synetech Jul 1 '13 at 17:22
  • Wow. It's very shocking that this isn't enabled by default in Chrome. Anyway, I have checked that box and hopefully that was the culprit. I'll pick yours as the answer in 24 hours of no issues. Thanks! – Kingamoon Jul 2 '13 at 5:47

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