There were reports warning Skype users about a security issue concerning the discovery of a new ransomware. In fact, many users of video and messaging software of Microsoft have noticed an increase in ransomware that is aiming Windows devices through corrupted ads.
Sources say that the ads will be able to download and install malware on the device of unsuspecting victims. Thus, it would leave them at risk that would eventually expose their devices for hijacking. Such ads are able to pretend to be updates of the Adobe Flash Player, which has been proven to be a potential ground for cyber criminals.
The app reportedly would shut down users out of their devices and encrypt the content, threatening to release only when a ransom is paid in Bitcoins. In the report, the users have found out that the affected ads appeared in the mobile app of Skype, supported with advertising.
The desktop version of Skype was also affected in which users would put their login details at risk every time they opt to enter the service. Microsoft was hoping that users should exercise caution, expressing that the company was aware of this social engineering method to redirect some customers to a particularly malicious site.
Thus, Microsoft urged customers to remain cautious upon opening of unsolicited links and attachments from unknown and even known sources. Moreover, it is also advised to update the antivirus software on a regular basis.
The popularity of ransomware has grown in recent years because hackers consider this as a successful tactic. In fact, more than half of all business in the UK have been made the target by the alleged ransomware attack based on recent figures.
Take note that compromised Skype login might not be recognized at first. Moreover, hackers would disguise themselves as law enforcers or government agents. They would often warn the user about being suspected of illegal or criminal activities, thus scaring them to pay up the ransom demand.