The problem was highlighted by Florian on Twitter, who received a warning message from Edge that questioned whether the PWA (Progressive Web App) for X running in the browser was trying to trick them, and if they wanted to uninstall it as a result.
HELP !!! pic.twitter.com/LmRS9sZrejJuly 28, 2023
We need to rewind a bit here to get to the root of why this is happening. The first thing to know is that as Bleeping Computer, which flagged this, points out, Edge (and other Chromium-based browsers) have a built-in feature called ‘Progressive Web App Icon change’ which watches for app name or icon changes, and warns about them.
The idea is that you might be using a PWA (which essentially is a lightweight spin on an app that works just like a web page, running in the browser) that isn’t what you think it is, and might be a scam – if the name has been changed slightly, or the icon is different.
So, the browser’s telling you to be careful, and note that something is different here, so you can check everything’s okay – and uninstall the PWA if something seems fishy.
In this case, the warning has seemingly been triggered by Elon Musk’s swift rebrand to X, which involved changing the favicon (the little icon that appears on the browser tab next to the site name).
Because this happened so fast, Edge is picking it up as the wrong icon – not the Twitter bird – and alerting users to this.
Analysis: Land of confusion
Presumably, Microsoft will be tinkering with Edge pretty swiftly to update the browser so this false detection and unnecessary warning won’t happen anymore. There aren’t any reports of this appearing on Chrome (or other Chromium browsers), so Google appears to have side-stepped the issue or already remedied it.
All this talk of PWAs might seem a bit confusing, but the takeaway is if you’re using Edge and you see the warning about X (Twitter) that’s shown in the above tweet, you can safely ignore it, and there’s no need to fret.
Still, for the less tech-savvy, this will be a worrying warning message to see, one that could even make folks think that they could have fallen victim to malware. Rest assured that isn’t the case, and your security software (hopefully you’re running one of the best antivirus apps) hasn’t let you down.
On a broader level, this is just another fragment of collateral damage from Musk’s X rebrand, which really hasn’t gone down well at all in many (well, most) quarters, and seems like a crazy risk to take. What throws further confusion into the mix is that there are actually scams floating around trying to leverage the Twitter rebrand to exploit unwary people, as we’ve seen.
Could this rebrand thing get any messier? It’s very likely, sadly...
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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).