Beware of Device Driver Sites That Install Ransomware.

Submitted by Dave Won. on Sat, 05/30/2020

Why has finding device drivers become such a headache of late? As a computer technician I know how frustrating it is when it comes to finding device drivers, especially in 2020 because the internet is covered with sites that are offering to give the drivers for free, and that is anything far from true.

In the last 10 years the search for device drivers for products that are no longer supported by the OEM’s have become difficult find at best. With the first rankings in search engines for these obsolete drivers are sites that install malware and ransomware. You might say why do they still exist then? Well for some reason these sites have never been blocked and continue to find ways to put their malware on your computer some of them want you to pay monthly subscriptions to have your drivers installed.

If such a thing had existed in the early 2000’s no one would have believed that it was a possibility. For example, I was fixing a retro computer that had an original Sound Blaster 1.0 and the 5.25” floppy disk that came with the ISA card were not readable. This is not uncommon for disks that are over 30 years old. I had tried to get the drivers from a website that I had used many years ago to only find out that the site also wanted to install one of these so-called device detector applications. This was ridicules because I was looking for a driver for a DOS operating system and it wasn’t even connected to the Internet.  

One of the best ways to avoid sites that try to install this malware/ Ransomware is to make sure that the file name is the same as what is listed on the page, also make sure it is the same size and not just and installer for the Malware. Another key indicator is the sites don’t have any social media sites; this shows that they don’t want to others to view complaints about their business practices.

If you're not sure what you're getting into with device drivers, at least do a backup of existing drivers before you make any changes.

Remember these companies that have the fake software make a lot of money from the monthly subscriptions, and there is no way to really stop them doing what they do, plus you’ll never get your money back.

In Summery:

  • You should never pay for device drivers.
  • Find a driver site that has the drivers on the same page as the one you arrived at from the search engine.
  • Some of the old sites that have been around for decades are no longer trustworthy.
  • Look for reputable sites like that have direct downloads to drivers on the same page.
  • Backup your drivers using a free tool like DriversBackup to make sure you can install the old drivers back if anything goes wrong.