Researchers from F-Secure were the first ones to recognize the recent malvertising scheme, which is utilizing the Skype messaging and communication platform to deliver the malicious advertisements. Users who use the Malicious Ads, which are mostly unsuspecting in their nature, are redirected to other web pages that launch the initiation of the Angler Exploit Kit.
Skype has seen its fair share of exploitations, and malicious campaigns run through the communication app. The major differences in the recent malvertising scheme are that researchers are finding that it also delivers malicious ads to web browsers instead of confining them within the Skype application. Some of the malicious ads were starting to appear on sites like eBay and leading users to the Angler Exploit Kit only to deliver the TeslaCrypt Ransomware threat.
As we know very well, TeslaCrypt Ransomware is one of the most aggressive types of malware threats around where it is known to encrypt various files on an infected computer and then relay a notification screen asking for payment to decrypt the affected files. Many computer users faced with ransomware like TeslaCrypt have been forced into restoring their entire hard drive from a backup instead of paying the hefty fee of $500 to $1000 for a decryption key.
Cybercrooks are actively taking advantage of the recent Skype Malvertising Scheme but some researchers are claiming that the campaign won’t last very long. In fact, the cybercriminals behind the Skype malvertising scheme have stumbled somewhat by using the AppNexus ad platform (adnxs.com) to display their malicious ads but found faults in their usage and shut it down to reconfigure their attack methods.
Because malvertising campaigns are often hidden under the radar, computer users don’t necessarily know when they are served a malicious advertisement when surfing the web. Because of that, malvertising is extremely dangerous and could spread quickly and continue to spread until an advertising network discovers the attack. What computers can do to help protect themselves is to always utilize antivirus or antimalware software to capture malware from malicious advertisements.