In the past, a number of Skype vulnerabilities have been uncovered, many of which have been patched by Skype. However, hackers have now started using a new way of exploiting Skype users. This time, they are using social engineering skills to fool the users into clicking nefarious links which eventually install ransomware on users’ machines.
The process is fairly simple, and a huge number of users have fallen prey of it. Two security firms, Sophos and Trend Micro, have warned Skype users not to fall for this widespread social engineering hack.
To initiate the process, a user’s account is somehow compromised and then infected with a worm. This worm automatically sends messages to the entire contact list of the infected user. The message reads, “lol is this your new profile pic?” and is followed by a URL.
Once you click the URL, you are redirected to the online download of an .exe file named ‘Skype_todaysdate.zip.’ The file, security researchers have revealed, is actually a variant of the Dorkbot worm and once you download it, it automatically install itself on your machine and makes the computer a part of a botnet.
The malware also starts click fraud through user machines and at the same time, installs yet another nefarious software on the infected PC. This particular type of malware is known as ‘Ransomware’ because it encrypts and locks infected computers’ files and when the users try to access them, it asks them to pay $200 to gain access to the files or else, they would be deleted within 48 hours.
Such Ransomware is something which has been routinely used by hackers and is very well-known form of malicious software. Thankfully, Skype seems to be well in the know of this new wave of malware that has hit its users, and seems to be alerting the users about it.
Skype released a statement, reading, “We are aware of this malicious activity and are working quickly to mitigate its impact. We strongly recommend upgrading to the newest Skype version and applying updated security features on your computer. Additionally, following links—even when from your contacts—that look strange or are unexpected is not advisable.”
Source: Trend Micro