LOS ANGELES TIMES (U.S.), STERN, DER SPIEGEL (Germany)
A virus called Dorkbot is working its way through Skype users around the world. When users click on the English- or German-language come-on, malware is installed in their computer and it becomes part of a botnet, a network of remote-controlled computers that can conduct denial-of-service attacks.
According to the Los Angeles Times, in some cases, computers have even been frozen and held for ransom remotely, with users asked to send $200 so their computers will be returned to normal.
The Skype message to users, which appears to be from a known friend or acquaintance, reads in English “lol is this your new profile pic?” and in German “Hallo, sag mal ehrlich sind das deine Fotos?” reports Der Spiegel.
The link below looks as if it leads to Google and includes the user’s name. But when the user clicks on it, a Trojan horse inserts itself into the user’s computer. The malware affects Linux and Mac computers but is mainly aimed at Windows users, according to German magazine Stern. It becomes active only on Windows, and can prevent users from accessing certain web browsers. It also sends the virus message to all of the newly infected computer’s Skype contacts.
Skype forum managers have recommended that users change their Skype passwords and that those affected use free program Malwarebyte to get rid of the virus, Stern added. Skype confirmed on Tuesday that the virus is affecting users and urged them to update the program to get the best protection. The worm was discovered by Trend Micro, a computer security firm, according to the Los Angeles Times.