After making a big splash in the news through its $2.6 billion deal with eBay, Skype Technologies (Profile, Products, Articles) can't be happy about a malicious Trojan horse that is circulating as an e-mail attachment and purports to be the newest release of the company's Internet telephone software.
The e-mail, claiming to contain version 1.4 of Skype's VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) software client, contains a variant of the IRCbot Trojan horse, according to MessageLabs (Profile, Products, Articles) Ltd., which issued a warning earlier this week after detecting and blocking hundreds of copies of the new variant.
Skype released the new version on Oct. 10.
An ever-growing amount of unsolicited e-mail, or spam, contains malicious software, as criminal groups seek to infect computers with malware in order to add new systems to their botnets, or zombie networks, used illegally to distribute spam, said Alexander Peters, an antivirus researcher at the German subsidiary of MessageLabs. "These groups are always looking for machines to keep their networks alive," he said. "It's a huge problem, and spam, which today is almost inseparable from malware, is at the heart of it."