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Skype Update Actually A Trojan

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A fake update to the Skype VoIP client has been circulating via email, and installs an IRC bot on victims’ computers.

Security firm MessageLabs disclosed the presence of a new IRCbot/Fanbot Trojan, and it purports to come from Skype as the newest release, version 1.4 of its client software for Windows.

Instead, the message contains the Trojan file. When executed, it displays a fake installation error box while instead installing itself on the system. Once installed, it attempts to make a connection via IRC to a couple of remote servers, but MessageLabs said these attempts fail.

Further damage inflicted by the worm alters the system registry and prevents PCs from downloading Windows security updates. Currently, the virus is not very widespread, with MessageLabs’ services having stopped about 800 copies from reaching its clients.

Social engineering has become the method of choice for email attackers, and the fake Skype message is just one of many. Other enticements like free adult images or false security updates from administrators have been used in recent months, and will probably continue to show up in email boxes.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Skype Update Actually A Trojan
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