Hacker claims to have cracked Skype protocol
VoIP firm hit by alleged breach
By Maxwell Cooter | Techworld | Published: 16:07, 09 July 2010
A hacker claims to have cracked the Skype’s proprietary encryption protocols that protect the VoIP company’s intellectual property.
The Luxembourg IP telephony company has zealously guarded its protocol but a hacker going by the name of ‘Sean O’Neil’ claims that he’s broken through the protection. On his blog, he praised Skype’s protection and explained the difficulty involved in breaking it. “For over 10 years, Skype enjoyed selling the world security by obscurity. We must admit, really good obscurity. I mean, really really good obscurity. So good that almost no one has been able to reverse engineer it out of the numerous Skype binaries. Those who could, didn’t dare to publish their code, as it most certainly looked scarier than Frankenstein.”
His blog is no longer available and a version of it posted on aggregator site Reddit has also been taken down, although a cached version is available.
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And the reason for the revelation? Good old-fashioned pique. “It so happened that some of our code got leaked a couple of months ago. We contacted Skype reporting the leak. Only weeks later, our code is already being used by hackers and spammers and we are abused by Skype administration. I do not want to go into any finger-pointing details here, but naturally, we do not wish to be held responsible for our code being abused. So we decided that the time has come for all the IT security experts to have it.”
It should be stressed that there is no independent evidence of the breach. Skype has said nothing but then, Skype is notoriously secretive, refusing even to have a contact phone number for customers, and has put out no public statement on the claims. But the so-called O’Neil’s blog says that more will be revealed at the forthcoming Chaos Computer Club in Berlin.