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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Skype

Millions of PCs Found Running Outdated Versions of Popular Software

Millions of PCs Found Running Outdated Versions of Popular Software
January 24, 2019Swati Khandelwal
It is 2019, and millions of computers still either have at least one outdated application installed or run outdated operating systems, making themselves vulnerable to online threats and known security vulnerabilities/exploits. Security vendor Avast has released its PC Trends Report 2019 revealing that millions of users are making themselves vulnerable to cyber attacks by keeping outdated versions of popular applications on their computers. Probably the most overlooked vectors for any cyber attack is out-of-date programs, which most of the times, is the result of the users' laziness and company's administrators ignoring the security updates in a business environment as they can't afford the downtime. According to the report [ PDF ],  Adobe Shockwave tops the list of software that most user left outdated on their PCs, followed by VLC Media Player, Skype, Java Runtime Environment , 7-Zip File Manager, and Foxit Reader. The outdated software applications often provide an ope

Skype Finally Adds End-to-End Encryption for Private Conversations

Skype Finally Adds End-to-End Encryption for Private Conversations
January 12, 2018Mohit Kumar
Good news for Skype users who are concerned about their privacy. Microsoft is collaborating with popular encrypted communication company Signal to bring end-to-end encryption support to Skype messenger. End-to-end encryption assured its users that no one, not even the company or server that transmits the data, can decrypt their messages. Signal Protocol is an open source cryptographic protocol that has become an industry-wide standard—which is used in  Facebook Messenger , Whatsapp , and Google Allo for secure messaging. Dubbed Private Conversations , the new feature which is about to be introduced in Skype will offer end-to-end encryption for audio calls, text, and multimedia messages like videos and audio files. "Skype Private Conversations give you enhanced security through end-to-end encryption with an additional layer of security for conversations between you and your friends and family," the company announced .  "Private Conversations can only be betwe

Critical Skype Bug Lets Hackers Remotely Execute Malicious Code

Critical Skype Bug Lets Hackers Remotely Execute Malicious Code
June 28, 2017Mohit Kumar
A critical vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft-owned most popular free web messaging and voice calling service Skype that could allow hackers to remotely execute malicious code and crash systems. Skype is a free online service that allows users to communicate with peers by voice, video, and instant messaging over the Internet. The service was acquired by Microsoft Corporation in May 2011 for US$8.5 Billion due to its worldwide popularity. Security researcher Benjamin Kunz-Mejri from Germany-based security firm Vulnerability Lab discovered the previously unknown stack buffer overflow vulnerability, which is documented in CVE-2017-9948 , in Skype Web's messaging and call service during a team conference call. The vulnerability is considered a high-security risk with a 7.2 CVSS score and affects Skype versions 7.2, 7.35, and 7.36 on Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8, Mejri said in a public security disclosure published on Monday. "The issue can be exploi

5-year-old Skype Backdoor Discovered — Mac OS X Users Urged to Update

5-year-old Skype Backdoor Discovered — Mac OS X Users Urged to Update
December 14, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Those innocent-looking apps in your smartphone can secretly spy on your communications or could allow hackers to do so. Hard to believe, but it's true. Recently, Trustwave's SpiderLabs analysts discovered a hidden backdoor in Skype for Apple's macOS and Mac OS X operating systems that could be used to spy on users' communications without their knowledge. The backdoor actually resides in the desktop Application Programming Interface (API) that allows third-party plugins and apps to communicate with Microsoft-owned Skype — the popular video chat and messaging service. Appeared to have been around since at least 2010, the backdoor could allow any malicious third-party app to bypass authentication procedure and provide nearly complete access to Skype on Mac OS X. How an Attacker can Take Complete Control of Your Skype The malicious app could bypass authentication process if they "identified themselves as the program responsible for interfacing with th

Skype leaves Sensitive User Data Unencrypted Locally On Computers

Skype leaves Sensitive User Data Unencrypted Locally On Computers
April 29, 2014Swati Khandelwal
An application should always encrypt users' sensitive data, either it is local or stored on company servers, but still many popular services failed to provide fully secured solutions to their users. Cristian Dinu (DrOptix) and Dragoş Gaftoneanu , Romanian programmers at Hackyard Security Group , a private community dedicated to IT security research approaches ' The Hacker News ' editorial and claimed that the Microsoft owned most popular free voice calling service Skype leaves its local database unencrypted, that puts users' sensitive information at risk. All Skype-to-Skype voice, video, file transfers and instant messages are encrypted. Though, Skype's local database is also supposed to be encrypted because it is sensitive enough, but  Dragoş  found that Skype leaves users' full name, birthday, phone numbers, country, city and even full chat conversations unencrypted on the systems' hard drive in a known location without any encryption or password.

Skype's Official Twitter, Facebook and Blog Hacked by Syrian Electronic Army

Skype's Official Twitter, Facebook and Blog Hacked by Syrian Electronic Army
January 02, 2014Mohit Kumar
Happy 2014.. We are back with first hacking story of the year - SKYPE " Stop Spying " . Yes Skype Got hacked last night by an infamous hacker group called the Syrian Electronic Army , a group that supports Syria's president and typically they publish pro-Syrian government messages, but its first time they are taking about PRIVACY . Syrian Hackers posted some messages on Skype's Twitter account i.e. " Stop Spying on People! via Syrian Electronic Army ," Next tweet reads, " Don't use Microsoft emails (hotmail, outlook), They are monitoring your accounts and selling it to the governments. " Syrian Electronic Army hackers also compromised Skype's Facebook page and a company blog hosted on Skype's website. A blog post published on the official Skype blog featured the headline, " Hacked by Syrian Electronic Army.. Stop Spying! ", which now has been deleted by Microsoft. Now it appeared that Skype regained the access to their accounts and dele

Warning: "A new message from Skype Voicemail Service" spam leads to Zeus Malware

Warning: "A new message from Skype Voicemail Service" spam leads to Zeus Malware
November 29, 2013Wang Wei
Skype has been targeted by cyber criminals again this week. Users are receiving a new Spam Email with subject " You received a new message from the Skype voice mail service. ", that actually leads to Zeus Malware . Zeus is a Trojan horse that attempts to steal confidential information from the compromised computer. It specifically targets system information, online credentials, and banking details, but can be customized through the toolkit to gather any sort of information. The email is sent from the spoofed address " Skype Communications " and seems to be genuine, it has similar body content and the official Skype logo that usually comes with a legitimate Skype voice mail alerts. " This is an automated email, please don't reply. Voice Message Notification. You received a new message from the Skype voice mail service. " the email reads. The fraudsters have also tried to make the emails look genuine by adding real links back to the Skype website. According to MX Lab , the attached f

Microsoft handed over encrypted messages key and Skype calls access to NSA

Microsoft handed over encrypted messages key and Skype calls access to NSA
July 11, 2013Mohit Kumar
New top secret documents provided by Edward Snowden exposed that Microsoft worked hand-in-hand with the United States government and handed the NSA access to encrypted messages and built a series of backdoors into Outlook.com, Skype, and SkyDrive to ease difficulties in accessing online communications. Over the last three years, Microsoft has reportedly assisted the FBI and NSA in encryption bypassing its products' encryption that would otherwise prevent the interception of web chats, emails, and user data. The documents obtained by The Guardian show that: Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal; The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail; The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users world

After Viber, Saudi Arabia threatens to block WhatsApp and Skype

After Viber, Saudi Arabia threatens to block WhatsApp and Skype
June 18, 2013Mohit Kumar
Viber was blocked last week for non-compliance by The government of Saudi Arabia and Now they may move to block Skype and WhatsApp in the coming weeks, if the U.S. based messaging provider fails to comply with requirements set by the country's telecom regulator. CITC confirmed that they could take the nasty step even before the holy month of Ramadan that commences on 9 July. " We have been communicating with WhatsApp and other similar communication platforms to get them to cooperate and comply with the Saudi telecom providers, however, nothing has come of this communication yet ." The main issue seems to be that such channels bypass Saudi's communications monitoring capabilities and consequently do not conform to local regulations.  Saudi Arabia's three main operators Saudi Telecom, Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) and Zain Saudi had been asked to tell CITC if they were able to monitor or block such applications. " We gave them a week to comply and have been co

Does Microsoft spy on Skype conversations?

Does Microsoft spy on Skype conversations?
May 24, 2013Anonymous
Skype … once upon a time a VOIP application considered very secure and wiretap-proof, it was the common belief that no one could intercept such communications due a complex mechanism for the management of audio / video and text streams. One day, Microsoft decided to buy the product, according to many to catch a significant portion of users fond of Skype, but according many experts the company of Redmond wasn't interested only to acquire new market share. The architecture of the popular VOIP infrastructure was improved according Microsoft, in reality it is common thought that it was implemented the possibility to intercept every conversation, as requested by US government to major service providers. The claim is that Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are today able to access the communications exchanged by Skype users and Microsoft has still not been adequately answered to various question on the matter. The German associates to H security magazine at heise Security have be

Malware that turns computers into Bitcoin miners

Malware that turns computers into Bitcoin miners
April 09, 2013Mohit Kumar
Researchers from Kaspersky Lab have discovered a new spam message campaign being transmitted via Skype contains malware capable of using an infected computer to mine for Bitcoins. The malware, identified as Trojan.Win32.Jorik.IRCbot.xkt . Bitcoin is a non-governmental, fully-digital currency based on an open-source and peer-to-peer internet protocol. Cybercriminals have figured out that distributed Bitcoin mining is a perfect task for botnets and have started developing malware that can abuse the CPUs and GPUs of infected computers to generate Bitcoins. " Bitcoin mining is the process of making computer hardware do mathematical calculations for the Bitcoin network to confirm transactions and increase security, " Victims are encouraged to install malware file that is included with messages like " this my favourite picture of you ". Those who click the links, infected with a virus dropper downloaded from a server in India. If the malicious file is ins

Rodpicom Botnet spreading via Skype and MSN Messenger

Rodpicom Botnet spreading via Skype and MSN Messenger
February 10, 2013Mohit Kumar
Malwares are getting updated during the age of social networking. FortiGuard Labs researchers have discovered a new malware called ' Rodpicom Botnet ' that spreads via messaging applications such as Skype and MSN Messenger. Dubbed W32/Rodpicom.A - Rodpicom Botnet sends a message to the victim with a link to a malicious site that leads to downloadable content. When the user clicks the link, the attack downloads another strain of malware, known as Dorkbot . Once the target machine is infected, it checks to see if the victim is using any messaging applications such as Skype or MSN Messenger.  It is revealed that, the malware employs new stealth tactics, including an exception handling technique that generates its own error to dodge analysis and relies on an anti-emulator that attacks the heuristic-scanning capabilities in antivirus software and enables its code to jump around several hundred times. The malware is enough smart to checks the language of the installed operating

Shylock banking malware spreads via Skype

Shylock banking malware spreads via Skype
January 18, 2013Mohit Kumar
The banking Trojan known as Shylock has been updated with new functionality, including the ability to spread over Skype. The program was discovered in 2011 that steals online banking credentials and other financial information from infected computers. Shylock, named after a character from Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice". Shylock is one of the most advanced Trojans  currently being used in attacks against home banking systems. The code is constantly being updated and new features are added regularly. According to security researchers from CSIS Security Group , the Skype infection is based on a malicious plugin called msg.gsm and allows the malware to send messages and transfer files, clean messages and transfers from Skype history and even bypass the Skype warning for connecting to servers. Beside the new ability to spread through Skype, Shylock can also spread through local shares and removable drives. Infection by the Trojan allows hackers to ste

SkypeHide to Send secret messages into silence of Skype Calls

SkypeHide to Send secret messages into silence of Skype Calls
January 07, 2013Wang Wei
Polish Researchers have discovered a clever way to send secret messages during a phone call on Skype. We know that, by default skype calls use 256-bit advanced encryption, but researchers find that is not enough. So they find out this new way to communicate messages more secretly by using silence. Mazurczyk, Maciej Karaś and Krzysztof Szczypiorski analysed Skype data traffic during calls and discovered that there is a way in Skype silence, where rather than sending no data between spoken words, Skype sends 70-bit-long data packets instead of the 130-bit ones that carry speech. So by taking advantage of this they hijacks these silence packets and then inject encrypted message data into some of them. The Skype receiver on other end will always simply ignores the secret-message data, but it can be decoded back to receive that secret message. Team decide to present this at Steganography conference  by creating a POC tool called SkypeHide that will be able to hijacks some of the silenc

Skype Illegally handed over data of alleged Anonymous Paypal Hacker

Skype Illegally handed over data of alleged Anonymous Paypal Hacker
November 06, 2012Mohit Kumar
Dutch media report   Skype has Illegally (without court order) distributed a 16 years old user's personal information including user name, real name, email addresses and the home address used for payment to a private company consistently a police investigation into Anonymous-sanctioned cyber attacks on PayPal.  In 2011 most of the online payment solution companies blocked donations to WikiLeaks, in relation to this Anonymous Hacker DDOS paypal and Mastercard. During investigation of attack an IT firm reach skype for the information of their use and Skype  handed over the personal information of a 16-year-old  Illegally to them. Dutch media report that Police operating the case as 'Operation Talang' which is actually focussed on two persons. Joep Gommers, senior director of global research at the Dutch IT security firm iSIGHT Partners, was hired by PayPal to investigate the attacks. They are Alleged to have played a role in attacks on websites belonging to Mastercard, VISA
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