Skype Hit with IM Worm, Security Threats Grow

Dennis Faas's picture

One of the rising technologies right now is Skype, a peer-to-peer telephone network devised by the same entrepreneurs behind the now decrepit Kazaa.

But, don't be too alarmed; although peer-to-peer and Kazaa have both become dirty terms in the security vocabulary, Skype is a rather safe (and in many cases, cheap) and effective way of reaching friends long distance.

However, Skype grows in popularity, so too do the threats, including a recent instant messaging worm that has spread its way to a few unlucky users.

The recent issue hitting Skype's instant messaging service isn't much different than those that have afflicted the average PC running MSN Messenger. Certain users will simply be given a random message with a text link, which appears as though it leads to a JPEG file. Anyone interested in the picture will find it leads to an optional executable file, which in turn sends a malicious link to all of those on the original user's instant messaging (IM) contacts list. Oh, and the link sent also includes an attached picture of a barely-covered seductress. (Source:

From that point on, a "Do Not Disturb" icon will appear over that person's status while using Skype IM.

The worm itself has been dubbed "Psyke.A", and was first reported by security firm F-Secure.

Unfortunately, this is hardly an isolated incident. Skype users were subject to a similar ploy last month, this time with a more irritating Trojan on the wrong end of proceedings. In that case, users who clicked on the random link could have their PC completely taken over by the attacker. (Source:

Skype has acknowledged the threats, but executive recommendations are generally limited to a suggested use of antivirus software.

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