i2 Security Blog

Keeping you upto date on the world of IT Security

i2 Security Blog - Keeping you upto date on the world of IT Security

Skype Flaw Allows IP Address and Location Tracking

A newly discovered flaw in Skype allows tracking of Skype users by IP address.  
The serious breach in the popular, Internet video chat program means that any person could potentially hunt down users’ whereabouts, according to a study co-authored by an NYU-Poly professor.

The flaw in Skype could allow a skilled hacker to find out the IP address from which a user has logged in to Skype, thereby determining the location of Skype users, which is a massive breach of privacy and security. However just by having the IP address doesn’t mean you can be tracked to your home address.  This is more just being able to locate you to a certain area and a certain ISP.

The company is trying to downplay the flaw, claiming that the ability to derive IP addresses was common with all web based communication clients.

The flaw can reportedly be exploited without the user’s knowledge, and can be executed on a large scale. The research team demonstrated this by scheduling hourly calls to tens of thousands of Skype users.

Adrian Asher, Skype’s chief information security officer, said that IP addresses are easily uncovered in most web communications clients.”Just as with typical Internet communications software, Skype users who are connected may be able to determine each other’s IP addresses. Through research and development, we will continue to make advances in this area and improvements to our software,” he told.

The IP address that you are using is usually from a pool of IP’s that your ISP is giving out.  By locating a Skype users’ IP address a hacker could work out their ISP and a rough location, potentially shown by the ISP, but don’t worry you won’t get someone knocking at your door because you told them off on Skype , they may just know which part of the country you are in 🙂

Category: General