Skype users beware! There's a scam going around using the popular software and tricking people into downloading adware onto their computers. If you're not careful, you could accidentally infect your computer.
The problem isn't with Skype. The scammers behind the adware are using social engineering to spread the adware by sending malicious links to unsuspecting Skype users. The message says that you have a call waiting and need to click a link.
Upon clicking, users would be taken to a site that told them to download various pieces of adware in order to view the message and to enjoy “safer browsing.” Their machine would then be riddled by software that redirected internet traffic, all for the purpose of showing ads.
Social engineering is a fancy term that security experts use to describe the methods hackers use to trick you into clicking malicious links or giving up personal information. It could be an email from your "bank" asking you to update your password or a fake Skype message that says you have a call waiting.
The scammers are using Microsoft and Amazon to host domains associated with the adware. Security firm PhishMe, which first discovered the adware campaign, notified the companies of the issue.
Together, the two companies are disrupting this scheme by nuking the Skype accounts involved and going after the IP addresses used.
In the meantime, just be smart when using Skype. All my readers know that you should never click on suspicious links sent by users you don't know. Just stick to chatting with users you're familiar with on Skype and you should be OK.