Feeds

Skype slurping software threatens IP exposure

It's a P2P problem says Redmond subsidiary

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Code posted online that can skim the last known IP address of users is being checked out by Skype as a possible security flaw.

The software, posted on Pastebin, works on a patched version of Skype 5.5 and involves adding a few registry keys that allow the attacker to check the IP address of users currently online without calling them. Services like Whois will then give some other details on the city, country, internet provider and/or the internal IP-address of the target.

"I've tested this and it does what it says on the tin," blogged Nick Furneaux, MD of security researchers CSITech. "I was able to extract the external and internal IP's of a friend in the US to within a few miles of his house, a buddy in Asia to within a few streets and my own to just a few miles down the road. More concerningly the internal IP combined with the internet facing address provides the basis for a direct probe and then attack of any individual on Skype's global address book."

He said a website had been set up to provide an easier way to exploit the IP tracking but that it hadn't yet been checked out for malware. The site is down at present.

Before everyone panics, it is not clear if the problem affects the current corporate build of Skype or just the deobfuscated build mentioned in the posting. Skype, and presumably Microsoft given the amount of integration Redmond is planning with its code base, are no doubt hoping it's the latter situation. In any case, simply turning off the software when you're not using it minimizes any threat window.

"We are investigating reports of a new tool that captures a Skype user’s last known IP address," Adrian Asher, director of product security at Skype told El Reg in an emailed statement. "This is an ongoing, industry-wide issue faced by all peer-to-peer software companies. We are committed to the safety and security of our customers and we are taking measures to help protect them." ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Shellshock over SMTP attacks mean you can now ignore your email
'But boss, the Internet Storm Centre says it's dangerous for me to reply to you'
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.