Skype users are reporting a rather nasty new ransomware version
Skype users have been warned to update their security protection following the discovery of a nasty new ransomware campaign.
Users of Microsoft’s messaging and video call software have noted a huge rise in new ransomware that is targeting their Windows devices through corrupted adverts.
The adverts are able to download and install vicious malware on a victim's device, potentially leaving them at risk of having their devices hijacked.
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The news was uncovered in a Reddit thread, where multiple Skype users aired their complaints about the malware.
The compromised adverts pretend to be updates for Adobe’s much-maligned Flash software, which has proved a happy hunting ground for hackers and cyber-criminals in the past.
Users noted that the attack looks like it downloads and installs the infamous Locky ransomware, which has plagued the online world for some time.
The aptly-named Locky shuts users out of their devices and encrypts all their files, only releasing the property when a Bitcoin ransom is paid.
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The ransomware attempted to download itself when users logged in to Skype
Many users noted that the affected ads appeared in the Skype mobile app, which is supported with advertising.
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However the desktop Skype app was also compromised, with users potentially putting their login details at risk each time they entered the service.
Microsoft urged users to exercise caution, saying in a statement that, "We're aware of a social engineering technique that could be used to direct some customers to a malicious website.”
“We continue to encourage customers to exercise caution when opening unsolicited attachments and links from both known and unknown sources and install and regularly update anti-virus software."
Ransomware has grown in popularity in recent years as hackers see continued success with the tactic.
Recent figures revealed that over half of all British businesses have been targeted by a ransomware attack over the past twelve months.
Hackers often disguise the warning as coming from law enforcement or government agencies, warning the user that they are being suspected of illegal or criminal activity, which often scares them into paying up.
If you want to find out more about what ransomware is, you can read Express.co.uk’s guide here.