Skype spam malware 'recruits your PC for a botnet'

Trojan delivered as Skype message may sign up your computer for botnet, Malwarebytes finds

A spam campaign is infecting Skype users with malware that may enlist their PCs in cyber attacks, security researchers have discovered.

The majority of affected users appear to be based in India, Japan, and the Philippines, according to Malwarebytes, the company that discovered the bug, but the malware may have already spread to other countries. 

Victims receive spam messages on Skype containing Japanese katakana characters and a bitly link. Once clicked, the link directs them to a compromised domain to download a file pretending to be an image.

The image is a screensaver file, which is detected as a malicious SCR file Trojan.Injector. Once executed, it phones back to servers located in China, Vietnam, and the United States.

Advertisement - Article continues below

It also reads data from several configuration files and information about the machine it is installed on, such as the computer name and its GUID, a unique identifier.  

Malwarebytes said the malware also connects to an IRC server, possibly to join a botnet. The compromised domain the file connects to does not use a web application firewall and this, said the firm, makes it easier for malicious actors to infiltrate and use the site. 

"For those who are new to Skype spam, note that this modus operandi has been reused countless times, and it often yields successful results for the criminals," said Jovi Umawang, a researcher at Malwarebytes.

"The texts and links have changed as time went on, but what will remain the same is it will continue to take advantage of people's curiosity and trust that is already established between and among individuals in a network, regardless of size."

Featured Resources

The IT Pro guide to Windows 10 migration

Everything you need to know for a successful transition

Download now

Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape

How key technology partners grow with your organisation

Download now

Software-defined storage for dummies

Control storage costs, eliminate storage bottlenecks and solve storage management challenges

Download now

6 best practices for escaping ransomware

A complete guide to tackling ransomware attacks

Download now



Hackers abuse LinkedIn DMs to plant malware

25 Feb 2019

Best antivirus for Windows 10

3 Sep 2019

How to delete a Skype for Business account

12 Jul 2019

Best free malware removal tools 2019

8 Mar 2019

Most Popular

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

What to expect from AWS Re:Invent 2019

29 Nov 2019
Business strategy

Huawei takes the US trade sanctions into its own hands

3 Dec 2019

Five signs that it’s time to retire IT kit

29 Nov 2019