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Watch out for Malicious ads Lurking in Skype Chats

2015-01-21

Skype is an extremely popular video chat program, and it serves an enormous number of users on a daily basis. Unfortunately, opportunistic cybercriminals have begun targeting Skype in order to gain economic benefits through a variety of nefarious means. Recently, Baidu Antivirus Security Center has noticed that some Skype users have been attacked by malicious ads. These ads are disguised as Adobe Flash, Java, or QuickTime updates that are displayed to users directly in the Skype interface. Faced with software update pop-ups from familiar programs, users are caught off-guard and tend to trust the seemingly benign download prompts. After a user unsuspectingly clicks “download”, the malicious ad might install a large number of unnecessary programs, or even introduce high-risk Trojans – such as Ransomware or Banker – to a user’s PC.


Analysis by Baidu Antivirus security experts has shown that these types of malicious ads primarily connect to gl.topsecure24.com, ua.updateinstant.com, and dozens of other domain names in order to download and distribute malware.


According to Baidu Antivirus security experts, disguising malware as software update pop-ups and spreading it using advertising platforms is a relatively new attack method used by cybercriminals. In 2014, we discovered many attempts by cybercriminals to use the AOL and YouTube advertising systems to propagate malware. A large part of the income of these well-known sites comes from ads. These sites process a large number of advertising requests, but cannot guarantee with 100% certainty that all of the ads are safe to click on. Therefore, Baidu Antivirus Security Center would like to remind all PC users that if they click an ad which automatically downloads an executable program (generally having an .scr or .exe extension), they should refrain from running it in order to protect their computer from viruses and Trojans.


After Baidu Antivirus users enable all security protection functions, they will effectively prevent their PC from being infected, and will block the spread of this type of malicious adware. Users that don't yet have Baidu Antivirus can download it for free from http://antivirus.baidu.com .


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