Learn how to stop the Skype fraud where a virus compromises one’s account and sends spoofed messages with Baidu.com links to all of the victim’s contacts.
Skype is a remarkable medium for people to stay in touch through video calls and instant messaging. At the same time, just like any popular communication platform, it is a godsend for cybercriminals who seek easy ways to distribute perpetrating software or promote questionably legitimate online services. In a relatively new scam campaign, which is steadily gaining momentum, computer crooks have found a way to spoof Skype messages as though they were sent by one’s actual contacts. In other words, you may start receiving rogue messages from your Skype friends, and your own Skype account may be automatically spawning spam even if you are not logged in at the moment. The purpose of this malicious activity is to spread potentially unsafe links to pages ostensibly hosted on baidu.com domain.
The screenshot above demonstrates this hoax in action. A person receives a hyperlink from a friend who never actually sent it. The underlying technical context behind this predicament most likely involves offending code that breached the sender’s Skype account and now abuses the obtained privileges this way. The URL begins with the “www.baidu.com/link?url” string and contains the compromised person’s Skype username at the end of the address. Some security experts recommend those infected to change their Skype password and set up two-factor authentication to fix the problem. However, doing so is reportedly to no avail, and the links keep going back and forth in a scattershot fashion. This fact clearly points to malware origin of the issue.
The Baidu Skype virus, therefore, appears to be an automated entity that manipulates Skype’s text messaging system and exploits it to advertise certain web services or commodities. So, what exactly does this hoax push? When you receive one of these links and click on it, it’s not actually the Chinese Baidu.com site that’s going to appear in your default browser window. Instead, a predefined web script will trigger a series of redirects that ultimately resolve a fake Forbes landing page for a brain supplement called InteliGEN. The article featuring Stephen Hawking looks like it’s posted the day you visit the rogue website, but the date function actually grabs the current time and automatically displays it to visitors in order to add a hue of freshness to the whole fraud. The pills are claimed to boost brain function. Well, given the marketing methods used to advertise them, it’s more than reasonable to impugn the miraculous effect.
One way or another, the Skype malware that keeps generating messages with Baidu.com links in them is definitely a drag for everyone affected. For a start, it’s recommended to check the computer for malicious code. Because the infection is likely to also impact the victim’s web browsing environment, some browser troubleshooting is worthwhile as well.
Automated removal of the Baidu Skype virus
Owing to an up-to-date database of malware signatures and intelligent behavioral detection, the recommended software can quickly locate the infection, eradicate it and remediate all harmful changes. So go ahead and do the following:
1. Download and install the antimalware tool. Open the solution and have it check your PC for PUPs and other types of malicious software by clicking the Start Computer Scan button
2. Rest assured the scan report will list all items that may harm your operating system. Select the detected entries and click Fix Threats to get the troubleshooting completed.
Use Control Panel to get rid of Baidu Skype virus
• Open up the Control Panel from your Start menu in Windows and select Uninstall a program
• To facilitate the process of locating the threat, sort the programs list by date to get the latest ones displayed at the very top. Find an unfamiliar, suspicious entry under the Name column, click Uninstall and follow further directions to get the removal done.
Restore web browser settings to their original defaults
Under the circumstances of a complex browser hijack like this, executing a reset makes the most sense despite a few obvious downsides. Customizations such as saved passwords, bookmarked pages etc. will be gone, but so will all the changes made by the potentially unwanted program. The instructions below address the workflow for the web browsers most targeted by the Baidu Skype virus.
Reset Mozilla Firefox
• Open Firefox, type about:support in the URL area and press Enter
• On the Troubleshooting Information screen, spot the Refresh Firefox button and click on it
• Follow subsequent directions to reset Firefox to its original settings
• Restart the browser.
Reset Google Chrome
• Open Chrome, click the icon for Chrome menu and choose Settings
• Scroll down the settings screen and click Show advanced settings
• Click Reset settings
• Finally, confirm the restoration by clicking Reset on the warning message
• Restart Chrome.
Reset Internet Explorer
• Select Internet options under IE’s Tools
• Proceed by clicking on Advanced tab, then select Reset
• To confirm the intended changes, click Reset on the Reset Internet Explorer Settings screen after ascertaining that the Delete personal settings checkbox is enabled
• Reboot the machine to fully implement the fix.
Revise your security status
Post-factum assessment of the accuracy component in malware removal scenarios is a great habit that prevents the comeback of harmful code or replication of its unattended fractions. Make sure you are good to go by running an additional safety checkup.