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Websense: Skype worm on the loose

Messages sent via Skype's IM tool ask users to download file, which can steal password, other information, security firm says.

Internet security firm Websense has discovered a worm that uses Skype to propagate.

Skype is best known for allowing subscribers to make free telephone calls over the Internet. The company has more than 7 million subscribers and was acquired just over a year ago by online auction firm eBay for $2.6 billion.

Early reports indicate that the worm sends messages via Skype Chat, an instant-messenging tool. The messages ask recipients to download and run a file called sp.exe.

Once the file is executed, it installs spyware that can steal passwords and other personal information. It also connects to a remote server to download additional code.

According to Websense, the worm seems to have come from the Asia-Pacific region, possibly Korea.

The number of people affected is still unclear.

Munir Kotadia of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.