Windows 10 Users Are Reporting Weird Test Notifications That Smell Of A Security Issue

windows 10
Microsoft hasn’t exactly had good luck lately with its Windows 10 operating system. Microsoft was especially shown in a negative light when the Windows 10 October 2018 Update introduced a number of critical faults that made the company take the extreme measure of pulling the update from its servers. 

Now, we’re hearing about another potential issue with Windows 10; one that could have some major security implications. A few threads had popped up over the weekend on reddit that discuss weird popup notifications that have shown up on customers’ computers. While receiving a notification from Microsoft is not out of the ordinary (Windows 7 users will soon become familiar with new popups), these looks incredibly suspicious.

windwos10 popups

Redditor GOARGLE writes, “I just got two notifications coming from the notification tab that's in the lower right hand corner (next to the time and date). The first one popped up as ‘Microsoft movies - this test notification’ and then 5 minutes later it popped up again as ‘Microsoft movies - thsi test notification’. The typo was there as it popped up.”

The user went on to explain that clicking on the popup opened the Microsoft News app, but instead of an actual news article showing up, they were greeted with an error message. The misspellings and the error message sound like the work of nefarious hackers, but we aren’t quite certain what’s going on at this point.

The three notifications that have been reported so far are:

thsi test notification

this is test notification

Test Notification

Other redditors quickly chimed in about their similar experiences over the past few days. Lemmingsnake reported that they received the exact same notifications, but added, “Could be a mistake on a back-end notification system and not something malicious but I'm not ruling it out.”

microsoft news error
Error message received after clicking on a notification (source: GuyPaddock/reddit)

A number of other users indicated that they were so spooked by the notifications that they were on the verge of wiping their machines clean until they came across the above-referenced reddit thread. The popup notifications – so far – have been reported on Windows 10 versions 1803 (April 2018 Update) and 1809 (October 2018 Update).

Another thread on reddit has similar reports of the mysterious notifications.

At this point, there has been no word from Microsoft on if these notifications have originated from Redmond, albeit from an engineer that didn’t use spell check before hitting the submit button. If the notifications aren’t officially sanctioned by Microsoft, we may have a bigger problem on our hands.