Not long ago, the thought of using a voice over Internet protocol program to effectively communicate would have been surprising. Since the Internet has become more commonplace though, many people use Skype daily to stay in contact with people over a distance. Skype is also used by many businesses as well. With all that in mind though, how secure is Skype?
Skype as a Target
Malware authors are always trying to find more new ways to get infiltrate people’s computers. Skype has become a target for malware as a result. Many people have not given much thought as to whether or not Skype can be used to aid in the spread of malware. It definitely merits some thought though.
Skype has risen in popularity over the years. Due to this, there are other messenger services being closed down like Microsoft Windows Messenger. Skype is also being made to appeal to small businesses with their features and support options. It’s for these reasons that Skype is a great platform for the spread of malware
Shylock and new Worms
Shylock is a dangerous home banking malware that steals a person’s online banking information. Traces of Shylock have been found all around the world, but there is a large portion of it found in Europe. In the beginning, the virus spreads from downloads on infected websites. After Shylock has been downloaded, it would then search for Skype on its victim’s computer. When found, it would send links to the Skype user’s contacts over the chat.
Shylock also has the ability to repair itself. It is able to detect whether or not there is human interaction with virus and is able to delete registry files if there is to help remove evidence of its existence. Unfortunately, Shylock’s developers are always updating it and trying to find ways to make it more effective.
What this means is that more caution should be used when receiving odd messages on Skype.
New work has been done finding out more about the safety of Skype for computers and has yielded results. Researchers have recently found two dangerous computer worms that spread via Skype. For the most part, the researchers found the worms being localized to Japan.
One of the worms was called Bublik. Bublik is a backdoor that also has rootkit capabilities. Another worm, which was discovered by Trend Micro, called the Kepsy worm helps spread Bublik over Skype.
The second worm spread by Skype is called Phorpiex. It spreads via Skype’s chat system by sending out links that lead to websites that are carrying the worm. The worm targets information on removable drives. Once it has infiltrated a person’s system, the worm receives commands from the attacker by connecting the infected computer to an IRC server.
Additionally, the worm downloads other malware onto the computer. Finally, the worm it will send itself out in email attachments to the user’s contact list. The worm deletes itself after it executes its functions.
None of this means that Skype is exceptionally dangerous or should be avoided. Skype is still a great way to stay in contact with other people. What this means is that more caution should be used when receiving odd messages on Skype.