This weekend, Twitter user Gabriel Landau enjoyed his first few hours with a Windows 10 laptop by doing this exact thing (video in Twitter link). The top result for his "download chrome" search via Edge looked ordinary enough. Except that when he clicked it the resulting domain was "GoogleOnline2018.com." The fake site isn't an exact copy of Google's own Chrome landing page, but looks genuine enough to fool people. The download itself is called "ChromeSetup.exe," but examining the digital signature reveals "Alpha Criteria Ltd." That's definitely not Google.
Fortunately, Landau was observant enough to detect something fishy was happening, but the way these deceptive ads are hijacking Bing is clever enough to fool the average user.
The malicious URL that Bing is happy to promote can't fool Google or Firefox. When I simply type the above URL into my Firefox browser I'm faced with a bold red page declaring "Deceptive Site Ahead" completely with details and an option to go back.
Chris Hoffman, EIC of How-To Geek was able to reproduce this error, and several users on Twitter have also complained about it. In his article, he points out that the ad comes into rotation every few page refreshes. Because I can't obtain that result on a fresh Windows 10 install, I suspect it may be targeting users geographically (I live in Europe). See more...