The Stay Smart Online (SSO) Advisory service has issued a warning to Skype users this week about messages circulating the internet voice and video service which contain malware. Known as ‘Dorkbots’, the malicious software can overtake your computer if you click the link in the message, infecting your computer and opening you up to identity theft. We show you what to look out for, and how you can be at risk of identity theft and other nasties which can impact your life and your credit rating.
By Graham Doessel, Founder and CEO of MyCRA Credit Rating Repairs and www.fixmybadcredit.com.au.
SSO Advisory is warning users to be careful about clicking on a link coming from a Skype instant message.
Skype issued a warning on October 9 via the security section of their website about the ‘Dorkbot’ malware that is currently spreading via Skype.
Users may receive a message asking ‘lol is this your new profile pic?, along with a link. You are warned not to click this link. This message may come from friends in your Skype contacts lists.
If the link is clicked, the malware infects your computer. It may also cause your computer to become part of what is known as a ‘botnet’. A botnet is a group of compromised (infected by malware) computers that are used by criminals to carry out attacks on other computer systems.
Dorkbot variants may also attempt to steal user name and password details for other services you use. Botnets are controlled remotely and can be instructed to perform further malicious acts via the internet.
Whilst back on October 9 Skype had said a “small number” of Skype users have been targeted, this number may have escalated to greater levels, for SSO to launch an advisory. Security company Trend-Micro’s blog post ‘Skype worm spreading fast’ revealed on October 8 the company had blocked 2500 infected files in the 24 hours since discovery.
If you are tech savvy, Trend-Micro explains further:
“These Dorkbot variants will also steal user name and password credentials for a vast array of websites including Facebook, Twitter, Google, PayPal, NetFlix and many others. They can interfere in DNS resolution, insert iFrames into web pages, perform three different kinds of DDoS attack, act as a Proxy server and download and install further malware at the botmaster’s initiation. These are only some of the functionality of this pernicious worm.
Some infections will subsequently install a ransomware variant locking the user out of their machine, informing them that their files have been encrypted and that they will be subsequently deleted unless the unfortunate victim surrenders a $200 fine within 48 hours.”
Skype says, as a general word of caution, here are the steps to follow to avoid being scammed:
1. Keep your Skype up-to date to ensure latest security features.
2. Keep your PC or device security up to date with the latest anti-virus software
3. It’s never adviseable to click on suspicious or unusual files and links, even if it’s coming from people you know.
4. Check heartbeat or community for the latest news if unsure.
As always, we regularly encourage our users to only download the latest version of Skype from skype.com. This is done to not only to ensure our users are able to take advantage of new features and functionality, but also to make sure you are getting a genuine version of Skype, as we remain committed to providing the best quality and security to our users.
Back in July we featured a post explaining Malware which you might want to read if you want to know the ins and outs of Malware, titled ‘How Malware can infect your life and put you and your credit file at risk of fraud.’
Here is an excerpt from that post:
What can fraudsters do if they can get their hands on your personal information?
They can steal passwords to your bank or credit accounts and they can also create a patchwork quilt of information that can allow them to eventually have enough on you to request duplicate identity documents, and apply for credit in your name.
Running up credit all over town, perhaps buying and selling goods in your name, or in some cases mortgaging properties – the victim can have a stack of credit defaults against their name by the end of their ordeal – and sometimes no proof it wasn’t them that didn’t initiate the credit in the first place.
Recovery can be slow, and in some cases victims have had no way to prove they weren’t responsible for the debt – with fraudsters leaving no trail and the actual identity crime happening long before the fraud took place.
So to prevent devastating identity crime, which leaves you in debt and can leave you without any way of obtaining new credit for years to come, make it your business to educate yourself on internet and or computer risks. And think before you click….it could save your financial future.
For help in recovering your good name following identity theft that has infected your credit file and your life, contact a Credit Repair Advisor on 1300 667 218 or visit the MyCRA Credit Rating Repairs website www.mycra.com.au.
Image: Salvatore Vuono/ www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net