Over 170,000 Skype users have fallen victim to a new cyber scam targeting them with malicious web links, according to Kaspersky Labs.
Kaspersky Labs expert Dmitry Bestuzhev reported detecting the scam in a blog post on Thursday. Bestuzhev said the scam has already duped thousands via socially engineered, bogus instant messages.
"The infection vector is via social engineering abuse infecting Skype by sending massive messages to the contacts like, ‘I don't think I will ever sleep again after seeing this photo', ‘tell me what you think of this picture I edited," wrote Bestuzhev.
"Goo.gl short URL service shows that at the moment there are more than 170,000 clicks on the malicious URL and only one hour ago there were around 160,000 clicks. It means the campaign is quite active with around 10,000 clicks per hour."
Bestuzhev said that the campaign has mainly affected Russian and Ukrainian Skype users since launching on 1 March.
China, Italy, Bulgaria and Taiwan have also been listed as being hit particularly hard by the attack.
The malware used in the scam reportedly enslaves the users machine to the criminals botnet and is designed to mine bitcoins.
Kaspersky said the malware is particularly dangerous as it can spread itself using infected USB sticks.
The attack is the second discovered targeting Skype users this week. Prior to it security firm Webroot reported uncovering a cyber black market selling Skype and Twitter users account information.
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