Some Skype users have reported their accounts being used to send spam instant messages to their contacts. These users have no idea they are sending these messages as the messages aren’t visible in their chat history or linked Microsoft account.

A community manager posted on Microsoft’s Skype forums stating the problem is caused by hackers exploiting weak passwords.

“Our investigation indicates that cyber criminals are using an automated technique to exploit weak or re-used passwords. We have taken steps to address the issue and will continue doing so while we monitor the situation.”

The community manager suggests users change their Skype password and if they have a connected Microsoft account to also change that password.

We recommend changing passwords every six months, and not reusing older passwords. Passwords that are hard for cyber criminals to crack combine numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, and punctuation.

For more advice on keeping safe online, check out our articles on Internet safety tips and Password managers.

To change your Skype password, follow these instructions.

To change your Microsoft account password, follow these instructions.