Skyping can sometimes let cyber-criminals hack your data. Sounds strange, but its true. A recent virus attack targeting Skype users can stop your Skype from functioning. This is not the only incident targeting Skype, there have been many in the past, but this is the latest.
Two possible reasons for this attack:
- It may be an attack from communities which don’t want people to use Skype (a slur on Skype’s reputation)
- It can also be an attempt to hack your Skype credits and your personal/contact information.
How does the attack happen?
The virus spreads through Skype scam-chats. Users from unknown Skype ids ping regular users and request them to download an image in zip format. If one attempts to reply/respond to such unknown messages, one would get immediate reply-backs. This creates the semblance of a human behind the unknown Skype id. But it is actually a computer which has pre-set commands to respond to a user. Suppose, you respond to the ping by asking, “What’s the download about?”, you will get an instant response – “a photo”.
This is the virus message Skype users get:
What if you accept and download the file?
Once you download the file, your Skype account will stop responding. Even if you un-install and re-install another version, you just cannot get going with Skype usage. You can login, but when you try to use Skype, you are at dead end. Your Skype stops responding. This scenario continues even if you login from another computer.
What to do if your Skype is attacked?
If your account is blocked or hacked, contact Skype forum using this link and let them know about your issue. This is the only way to get rid of this virus. Another way is to be extra-cautious and avoid such an attack.
Recently, some of the users of Skype got an instant chat message containing a link of a JPEG file, from one of the contacts in their list. The image is actually a virus file. People who clicked the link found out that their contact information had been hacked and the same message was sent to all the people in their contact list. The message, which appears to be a legitimate chat message from a known person, tricked many users into clicking on the link.
Hot discussions are going on in the Skype community regarding the recent virus. One person claimed that the hacker spread this virus intentionally during the vacation of the Skype team. Another one says that the virus creates a mdm.exe (Machine Debug Manager) file and adds itself to the system’s registry. It also disables the firewall. Whenever the user clicks on the link, the mdm.exe file starts running on the system and hacks their contact information. The process has to be stopped in order to get rid of the virus.
The virus can be removed from the system by following a set of steps. Copy and paste the code given in the Skype community forum. Save it as a batch file (.bat file). Run the file from the command prompt to remove the virus.