Those who use Skype need to exercise caution – a devastating worm is making its way around the Internet through Skype instant messages, the results of which are like something out of a poorly written techno-thriller. Users are sent the message “lol is this your new profile pic?” that contains a link that, when clicked, not only downloads and extracts a ZIP file to their computer, but also sends the message out to other Skype users.

The ZIP file contains an executable that will install a variant of last year’s terrible Dorkbot worm and create a backdoor that allows criminals access to infect your computer with further malicious software. In many cases, users are being infected with “ransomware,” an application that locks the user out of the computer, after which the criminal demands money and threatens to delete the user’s files.

In certain cases, users are told that their computer has been used for illicit purposes, such as downloading pirated music, and the criminal then threatens to send that information to the US government through a program called System Cleaner, which they claim was developed by the US government in the pursuit of cyber criminals.

Skype encourages users to keep both their Skype and computer’s security software up to date while the company investigates the issue.

via CNET

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