Windows 10 churned out rogue notifications that looked like a malware infection

Windows 10 on Surface
Image Credit: Microsoft (Image credit: Microsoft)
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Some Windows 10 users have been rightly worried that their PC had contracted some manner of virus, thanks to rogue notifications produced by a configuration error in Microsoft’s News app.

The affected users received a number of notifications entitled ‘My Movies’ with the simple text ‘test notification’, ‘this is test notification’, or a misspelled message that read ‘this test notification’.

The fact that the message was repeated, and the spelling error, made some suspect that malware could be involved – as misspellings aren’t exactly uncommon when it comes to the sort of shady stuff that will crop up thanks to a virus infection or hack.

Reports were posted (opens in new tab) in several threads (opens in new tab) on Reddit, where a discussion ensued, and a Microsoft support engineer stepped in to clarify: “Due to a configuration error in the Windows 10 News app notifications (English edition), some customers reported seeing test notifications.

“This issue was resolved on March 29th via a configuration update for existing versions. We have also released a new version of the app that addresses the issue. The notification does not affect the application or use, and this issue should now be resolved.”

So yes, this actually began happening last Friday (March 29), but Microsoft has only just provided an explanation for what went on, and confirmation that the bug is indeed now fixed.

Serious consequences

Several of the affected Windows 10 users were ready to pre-emptively wipe their PC just in case they had caught something nasty, until they ran an online search and discovered on Reddit that other people had the same problem.

So while this slip-up might look relatively innocuous – or even vaguely amusing – this just goes to show how serious these sort of errors can be in terms of (quite rightly) provoking worry across the operating system’s user base.

Via ZDNet (opens in new tab)

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).