Security Threat to Skype in India; Government Warns Users

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | October 31, 2012 6:46 PM EST

Skype users in India were issued a cautionary notice after a malicious flaw was indentified in the Internet-based audio-video communicator.

"A malicious spam campaign is on the rise targeting Skype users by sending instant message which appears to come from friends in the Skype contact list," a government advisory said to users on Tuesday, according to Press Trust of India.

The popular Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service was identified with malevolent content and links, after which cyber security officials strictly warned users not to click on such links which hints a fraud network.

In the wake of the newly emerged threat, cyber security experts have recommended a number of measures to tackle the spam. The authoritative body The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), which has been making efforts to tackle the threat, said the spam "eventually controls the victim machine by opening a backdoor and communicating to a remote http server".

"The worm [is] reported as stealing user credentials, engaging in click fraud activities and pose as ransom ware," the agency added.

The advisory has asked users to download the latest version of Skype from a trustworthy source and update anti-virus software on their systems.

"Download the latest version of the Skype from the trusted markets, install and maintain updated anti-virus software at gateway and desktop level, use caution when opening attachments and accepting file transfers, disable auto play feature as a safe practice," the agency said.

"Use caution when clicking on links to web pages and protect yourself against social engineering attacks," it added.

Skype users have been facing problems of malicious content since the beginning of October. According to Trend Micro, messages like "lol is this your new profile pic?" have been lurking in the vicinity of cyber networks of Indian users. A click on the message will lead to the download of malicious spam on a user's system.

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