Feeds

Privacy group demands answers from Skype

How secure is secure?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Lobby group Privacy International is demanding Skype improves its VoIP service to properly protect the privacy of its users.

PI said it had reviewed Skype's security and had specific concerns including the VoIP service's use of full names on the contact list, which makes it easy for people to impersonate others.

The lack of an HTTPS download service means that a third party could interfere with the initial installation of the Skype client by tricking people into installing their own Trojan-infected version of the software.

Privacy International is also worried about the codec Skype uses to compress audio calls. PI reckons the VBR compression codec allows between 50 and 90 per cent of phrases to be identified.

The lobby group notes that many Skype users live under repressive regimes where the security, or not, of their private conversations may have serious consequences.

Eric King, Privacy International's Human Rights and Technology Advisor, said: "Skype's misleading security assurances continue to expose users around the world to unnecessary and dangerous risk. It's time for Skype to own up to the reality of its security and to take a leadership position in global communications."

PI calls on Skype to act quickly to resolve these problems in order to protect its users.

Privacy International's blog on Skype security is here.

A spokesman for Skype said: "Privacy International has not been in touch with us so it will take us some time to read and digest the report before we are in a position to respond. We will look into the points they have raised and will reach out to them. Skype takes these issues seriously and aims to provide users with the best possible levels of privacy and security."®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.