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Users receiving shortened URLs in Skype instant messages, or similar IM platforms, beware, there could be a Trojan called Liftoh lurking behind the message.

To date it has hit users in Latin America, said Rodrigo Calvo, a researcher at Symantec.

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When targeted, victims receive a message in Spanish containing a shortened URL. The messages appear as if they are coming from someone on the user’s Skype contact list who is linking to a photo.

If clicked, the link redirects users to, which is hosting a URL, which initiates a weaponized zip file containing Liftoh. The Trojan is the capable of downloading additional malware.

Cyber Security

So far users have clicked on the malicious URLs more than 170,000 times, Symantec said.

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