Instant Messenger Programs Targeted By Hackers

German security experts have warned that cyber criminals are targeting popular instant messaging services to spreading spam and procure account information from unsuspecting users.

G Data's SecurityLabs has revealed that IM users have been receiving fake friend requests and links to a "who-blocked-you service".

The fake friend requests link to a Russian software website, claiming to sell popular software at unrealistically cheap rates, where scammers gather the credit details of customers tricked into buying the fake software.

The "who-blocked-you" IM-spy service offered to users claims to be able to tell users who is blocking them. Cyber criminals can use this fake servics to obtain users' log-in information.

Researchers created a fake account on MSN Messenger in order to test the IM-spy services offered by the cyber criminals.

Eddy Willems, member of the SecurityLabs team that performed the tests, said: “The results were as expected: disappointing. The “who-blocked-you” service was not able to identify that, from the two contacts on our list, one actually blocked Michael and one did not. The names were both listed.”