Anti-virus Alert: Beware of Skype Viruses

Hackers have found ways to use Skype for their dastardly deeds. While none of these tricks are new to the work of hacking, you may be surprised that Skype could compromise your computer security. The more you know about these threats, the better prepared you will be to avoid them. Here is a list of some of the more recent threats to hit Skype users. While some of these aren't technically viruses, they are malware, so you should avoid them with just as much caution.

Scam Chats
Scam chats are a common way hackers spread viruses through Skype. A scam chat is when a hacker starts a conversation with people with the intent of drawing them in with a sad story or sexy pictures. The hacker will give them a link to click on to access more information or to download a picture. When users click on the link, it downloads a virus to their computers.

For example, one hacker would randomly message users, telling them that he was trying to find a missing child. He would ask for help and give the users who responded a link to a site where they could supposedly help with the search. Of course, this link led them to a virus. The best way to protect yourself from these viruses, aside from the best anti-virus software, is to only click on links from people you know, even if the person shares a compelling story or claims to know you.

The Fake Virus Call
Another sneaky way a scammer can use Skype is by making fake virus calls. The hacker will call a Skype customer using an automated system. The automated voice tells the people who answer the call that a virus has infected their computers and that they should purchase particular software to fix the problem. The automated voice gives them a website address to purchase the software. If they visit the website, it infects their computers with a virus.

Once again, avoiding this type of scam is easy. Simply don't follow directions given to you by an unknown source, no matter how convincing it sounds.

Trojan.Peskyspy is exactly what its name implies. It is a Trojan that spies on you while you use Skype. A Trojan is like the little brother of a virus. Viruses replicate themselves and spread. Trojans simply sit in your computer and cause mischief. This particular Trojan was designed to listen in on computers' audio devices. Skype itself isn't infected with the malware. The users' computers are infected, and any audio, like a phone call conducted using the computer's microphone, is recorded and can be accessed by the hacker.

While this doesn't present a huge threat if you only call your mother using Skype, it could become a big problem if you use it to call your credit card company or your bank. Fortunately, the Trojan.Peskyspy can be detected and deleted with anti-virus software.

With a little avoidance and some good anti-virus software, you can use Skype without any worries of computer infection.

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