I read it on The Interweb, so it must be true
A reader writes:
Did you know that AutoCAD 2017 is available already? And for free? Try googling "AutoCAD 2017 free download" and you'll get a huge pile of hits from a great many sites offering free downloads.
-- F. B.
I did as the reader suggested and found that he was right.
Results from searching on Google for "AutoCAD 2017 free download"
But what was being offered? AutoCAD 2017 won't ship until next March, after all. I decided to investigate. To protect my Windows desktop from virii, I switched to an Android tablet before going any further.
Here is what I found:
- Some sites don't actually have anything about AutoCAD 2017 -- search spam that Google isn't catching. Here is what the Softronic site offers after clicking on its "autocad 2017 software free full version" link:
No AutoCAD 2017 in sight on Softronic
- Most of the other links on Google Search were similar: they offered software downloads but not AutoCAD 2017.
- One site had a download link, and so I clicked the Download button from the safety of my Android tablet. A 285KB file was downloaded named "2017 full. exe," which could be a either a virus or a download assistant.
Site promising to download AutoCAD 2017 but doesn't
I reviewed the .exe file with a hex viewer on the Android, but found only that it was written for Windows and that it was requesting a high security level; see figure below.
Looking inside the .exe code with a hex viewer