Skype Back Door?

by on July 26, 2008 · 12 comments

How credible are these rumors? It seems like it should be possible to confirm or deny them by either monitoring Skype network traffic (to see if it’s sending data to a third party) or by reverse-engineering the Skype binaries. It also seems like if the “back door” were made available to a significant fraction of the world’s governments, it would be a hard thing to keep secret.

On the other hand, the showdown I predicted has not yet occurred, so it’s conceivable that Skype reached some kind of accommodation with US and EU regulators and quietly pushed a back door out with new versions of the software.

Update: One Slashdot commenter points to This report from Black Hat on efforts to reverse-engineer Skype. Looks like they’ve gone out of their way to thwart both tactics. Everything’s encrypted, and the peer-to-peer architecture means that the client sometimes randomly transmits data when you’re not making calls.

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