Fake Skype 'Urgent System Scan Notification' Points to Rogue Anti-Spyware Programs


Once more, hackers are abusing Skype to lure unwary users to a rogue website to trick them into purchasing useless software. Cyber criminals have created fake profiles on Skype's interface and are sending corrupt messages to Skype users to con them into purchasing rogue anti-spyware programs.

Similar to other hacks of this nature, the message contains a fake computer scan, which warns of various programs being infected with computer viruses.

The full Skype text message will resemble as follows:

"******************************************
URGENT SYSTEM SCAN NOTIFICATION ! PLEASE READ CAREFULLY !!
http://www. {rogueAV domain}.net/
For the link to become active, please click on 'Add to contacts' skype button or type it in manually into your web browser !
FULL DETAILS OF SCAN RESULT BELOW
******************************************
WINDOWS REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
ATTENTION ! Security Center has detected malware on your computer !
Affected Software:
Microsoft Windows Vista
Microsoft Windows XP
Microsoft Windows 2000
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Impact of Vulnerability: Remote Code Execution / Virus Infection / Unexpected shutdowns
Recommendation: Users running vulnerable version should install a repair utility immediately
Your system IS affected, download the patch from the address below !
Failure to do so may result in severe computer malfunction.
http://www.[rogue-website-domain].org/
For the link to become active, please click on 'Add to contacts' skype button or type it in manually into your web browser !”

With usernames like "Online Notification" and similar variations, the message does seem to be legitimate, but is actually nothing of the sort.

The site mentioned in the message above: "http://www.[rogue-website-domain].org/" is "www.updatevp.org" (link to updatevp.org malware removal report), which is a rogue domain used to sell fake anti-spyware programs and should not be trusted. The same message may appear with several different destination URLs, but the misleading advice in every case remains the same.

Essential steps to take if you receive the fake "URGENT SYSTEM SCAN NOTIFICATION" message on Skype

  1. Do not visit the site.
  2. Do not click on any site links within the message.
  3. Ignore the message and block the fake user that sent it.
  4. Mark the "Report abuse from this person" box on Skype.
  5. If the message persists, then use an effective anti-spyware tool to rid your PC of the threats that may have been downloaded on your computer.

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