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  • Infected Skype IM Links: Beware!
Technology Articles > Software > Security & Privacy > Infected Skype IM Links: Beware!

Are you a Skype user? There’s some new ransomware that you should look out for. A destructive worm has been snaking its way through Skype links. Once an infected link is clicked on, a Zip file will automatically download. In turn, this Zip file allows hackers a backend way into any given Windows machine. From there, a hacker can completely control of a system. As soon as the system has been seized, it becomes part of a much larger botnet. In short, this will mean big trouble for you. How can you avoid clicking on the wrong link? Here’s what you need to know.

Detecting Bad Skype Links

The infected Skype link listed above includes a message like this one: “lol! This is your new profile photo? Insert link here.” These messages will seem like they are coming from someone on your contact list. But, rest assured that your cousin in Greece isn’t sending you that message. Instead, it’s a message laced with danger that aims to wreck your system. If you happen to see any odd messages from contact list friends that are attached to links, don’t click on that link. Just don’t.

No matter how tempting it may seem or how real it could be, don’t click on that link. Even if you have a strange profile picture and someone could be commenting on it, don’t click. Instead, send a message to the person who supposedly sent you the link, and see whether or not you are being targeted. Once you click, you’ll have to pay up in order to get your system back. What’s that? Pay up? You read that statement right.

What Ransomware Does

Just in case you aren’t familiar with ransomeware, here’s the lowdown. Ransomeware was aptly named. As soon as your system has been compromised, you will be locked out of that system. No password or other login information will work. You will then be sent a ransom note. In order to retrieve your files or ever see your system as it was again, you will have to send money to those who are holding your system captive. What’s the price you’ll have to pay for clicking on a random link? So far, those who have clicked on bad Skype links have had to pay up to $200 to gain control of a system once again.

It should also be pointed out that the new Skype worm isn’t just happening in the English world. Some Skype users in Germany have complained of the same problem. So, no matter where you are, the lesson here is clear: never click on a link that looks suspicious. Skype can seem like a harmless and safe atmosphere, but clicking on a strange link will likely cost you some of your cash. Skype developers have been notified of this problem and are working to fix it. In the meantime, stay away from Skype links. Or, simply pick up the phone (you know, the regular phone?), and talk to someone on your Skype list.