Skype Virus

Also Known As: Skype malware
Type: Adware
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Skype Virus removal instructions

What is Skype Virus?

Skype virus is a generic name for all Skype telecommunication software-related malware. There are a number of different malware types relating to Skype. Some infiltrate the system, some hijack the Skype account remotely, however, their purpose and behavior are virtually identical.

Skype Virus adware

After successful system infiltration, Skype viruses hijack user accounts and send unwanted messages to all contacts. In some cases, cyber criminals perform these tasks remotely. Microsoft offers a feature allowing users to connect Skype and Microsoft accounts to ease the login process and enhance security. The old login (Skype name) and password can still be used to access the account. Therefore, cyber criminals take advantage of this by breaching users' accounts. Whether the computer is infected or not, the end result is identical: cyber criminals employ hijacked accounts to send private messages to all contacts. These messages contain links to various (potentially, malicious) websites. One of the most popular links leads to baidu.com. In some cases, a 'friendly' message (e.g., "Hey, check this video" or similar) is displayed together with the link. By including the text, cyber criminals attempt to make these deceptive messages look believable, however, it is a scam. If you notice that your account automatically sends messages or dubious links to your friends (they might complain about receiving them), your computer is infected and your account has been hacked.

As mentioned above, some links promoted by Skype viruses lead to malicious websites. These sites, in turn, are likely to promote various potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and cryptocurrency miners. Potentially unwanted programs have very similar behavior. They perform some, or all, of these actions: 1) display intrusive advertisements [coupons, banners, pop-ups, etc.]; 2) gather sensitive information, and; 3) modify web browser options. To display intrusive advertisements, PUPs employ tools that enable placement of third party graphical content. For this reason, displayed ads often conceal visited website content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience. Furthermore, they often lead to malicious websites or even run scripts that stealthily download and install other malware. Therefore, even accidental clicks can result in high-risk computer infections. Some potentially unwanted programs are known to track information. The list of collected data typically includes geo-locations, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, Internet service providers (ISPs), website URLs visited, queries entered into search engines, pages viewed, and keystrokes. Collected information is likely to contain confidential details and shared by PUP developers with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) to generate revenue. These people generate revenue by misusing personal information. Therefore, the presence of data-tracking apps can result in serious privacy issues. In some cases, potentially unwanted programs hijack web browsers and assign settings (e.g., new tab URL, default search engine, homepage, etc.) to various URLs that lead to fake search engines, whilst cryptocurrency miners mine Bitcoins, Monero or other cryptocurrencies in the background without consent. In doing so, these miners significantly reduce overall system performance (for more information on mining-malware click here).

As with Skype viruses, potentially unwanted programs are all very similar and are presented as legitimate software. They offer "useful features", however, all PUPs are designed only to generate revenue for the developers. Claims to enable useful functionality are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimacy. Rather than giving any real value, potentially unwanted programs pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

Note that in some cases rogue messages that get sent from your Skype account are caused by hacking rather than malware infection. To check if you account was hacked visit Microsoft Live Account Activity page. If you see some suspicious connections this means that your password was compromised and now hackers are using your account so send malicious links to the people in your contacts list. In this case you should change your account password. Tho do this:

1. Login into Microsoft.com with your Microsoft Account.
2. Go to “Security and Privacy”.
3. Under “Account Security”, select “More security settings”.
4. In the “Sign-in preferences”, select “Change sign-in preferences”.
5. Deselect “Skype name”
6. Press [Save]
7. Enable “Two-step verification”
8. In Microsoft.com Change your password.

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

In some cases, cyber criminals crack Skype account passwords, login, and then perform all actions remotely. This has nothing to do with the state of the computer (which might be virus-free), however, malware that hijacks the Skype application is proliferated in various ways. The most popular are the aforementioned intrusive advertisements, trojans, software "bundling", fake software updaters/installers, and (in some cases) spam emails. Trojans work very simply - they are contained inside the system and open "backdoors" for other malware to infiltrate. "Bundling" is stealth installation of potentially unwanted programs together with regular software/apps. Developers know that many users rush download/installation processes and skip steps. Therefore, they conceal "bundled" apps within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Fake software updaters/installers infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or installing malware rather than your chosen application. Some spam emails contain malicious attachments (e.g., MS Office documents, JavaScript files, etc.) that, once opened, download and install malware. Ultimately, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent computer infections, pay close attention when browsing the Internet. Bear in mind that intrusive ads look legitimate, however, the redirect to dubious sites (pornography, gambling, etc.) These redirects indicate a potential computer infection. Furthermore, download your applications from official sources only and, preferably, using a direct download link (third party downloaders/installers "bundle" rogue programs). Always keep installed applications updated and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite, however, avoid using unofficial updaters/installers. In addition, never open files received from suspicious email addresses - these emails should be deleted without reading. The key to computer safety is caution.

Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted programs:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Skype Virus adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.


Download remover for Skype malware
1) Download and install   2) Run system scan   3) Enjoy your clean computer!

By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Reimage.

Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing Skype Virus ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing Skype Virus ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the skype malware, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing Skype Virus  ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Removing Skype Virus ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the skype malware, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing Skype Virus ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing Skype Virus ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with skype malware removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove skype malware from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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