A configuration mistake in the Microsoft News app caused Window 10 users to receive strange test notifications, which caused them to think they were infected.
Last Friday, users on Reddit began posting about strange notifications they were receiving in the Windows 10 action center. These notifications indicated they were from the Microsoft News app, but were labeled as coming from Microsoft Movies.
Even stranger, these notifications contained messages stating “Test Notification, “thsi test notification”, and “this is test notification” as shown below.
When users clicked on these notifications, it opened Microsoft News to an error page.
When users started receiving these errors, especially the ones that were misspelled, they became worried that Windows was infected with a virus. Some went as far as to say that they almost wiped their machines.
A Microsoft support engineer replied to the Reddit post today and stated that these notifications were caused by a configuration error on their side. They do not explain, though, why developers would be testing configuration changes on a production environment.
“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.”
Microsoft also confirmed that this was the reason in a statement to BleepingComputer.
“This was due to a configuration error in the news app notifications and has been resolved.” – a Microsoft spokesperson
Then again, it was Friday when this happened and as one Reddit user stated: