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Skype accounts getting hacked - Are your gadgets safe?

Skype accounts getting hacked - Are your gadgets safe?
© Ana Blazic Pavlovic | Dreamstime.com

Internet outages are more than just a modest inconvenience nowadays. So much critical business is conducted online that whenever it's inaccessible it can be catastrophic. That's why many people were panicked after Monday's nationwide outages were reported.

Now, users are reporting outages with a popular video chat service. Are hackers to blame? Is your personal information safe?

Hackers could be responsible for Skype outage

Millions of people around the world are reporting problems using the popular video chat service Skype. The issues began around the same time mobile users reported internet outages. However, a link between Monday's outages and Skype's issues has yet to be established.

Skype users are having connectivity problems. Some are having problems connecting to the service and others are unable to send or receive messages. Skype Support sent a message on Twitter Monday confirming the problems:

The scary thing is, hackers could be behind these issues. The Daily Mail is reporting that a group of cybercriminals dubbed "Cyber Team," is claiming responsibility for Skype's outages. This could be a DDoS attack, like the one that shut down popular sites like Amazon and Netflix last October.

DDoS attacks occur when servers are overwhelmed with more traffic than they can handle. These types of attacks are performed with a botnet.

A botnet is a group of gadgets that hackers have taken over without the owner's knowledge. The hackers seize control of unwitting gadgets with a virus or malware and then use the network of infected computers to perform large-scale hacks or scams.

Microsoft owns Skype and has not verified that hackers are behind the connectivity issues. We'll have to wait for further details.

Skype Support is saying that the connectivity issues have been resolved. However, they also said this on Monday and the problems persisted. There could be more to come.

In the meantime, you need to keep your gadgets protected from cybercriminals. For hackers to create a botnet, they need to have behind-the-scenes control of the victim's gadget. This is typically done by installing malware through a phishing attack.

How to protect against phishing attacks:

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