Whether you want to use Zoom, Skype, Webex, Slack or other social meeting application, always make sure that you use the authentic tools as cyber criminals will try to trick you to use similar sounding tools in order to distribute adwares and malwares, researchers from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky warned on Friday.
In the current situation where most of the people have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, social meeting applications provide easy ways for people to connect via video, audio or text.
With the rise of social distancing, Kaspersky experts investigated the threat landscape for social meeting applications to make sure users are safe and their communication experience is enjoyable.
Beware of fake apps
Subsequent analysis detected around 1,300 files that have names similar to prominent applications like Zoom, Webex, and Slack.
Among those 1,300 files, 200 threats were detected -- the most prevalent being two adware families, DealPly and DownloadSponsor.
Both families are installers that show ads or download adware modules. Such software typically appears on users' devices once they are downloaded from unofficial marketplaces.
While adware is not a type of malicious software, it can still pose a privacy risk.
Serious threats lurking in the shadows
Apart from adware, in a few cases Kaspersky experts found threats disguised as .lnk files -- shortcuts to applications.
In fact, the vast majority of them were detected as Exploit.Win32.CVE-2010-2568 -- a quite old, yet still widespread malicious code that allows the attackers to infect some computers with additional malware.
The real "king" of social meeting applications in terms of the one whose name is most used by criminals to try to distribute cyber threats is Skype.
Kaspersky experts were able to find 120,000 various suspicious files that use the name of this application.
Moreover, unlike the names of other apps, this particular name is used to distribute not only adware, but also various malware -- particularly Trojans, Kaspersky said.