Feeds

Privacy group demands answers from Skype

How secure is secure?

High performance access to file storage

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."®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.