Note To Fugitives: Stay Off Of Skype

from the man-on-the-run dept

We reported last week about Kobi Alexander, the ex-CEO of Comverse, who’s gone on the lam to avoid charges relating to a stock-options scam. Now, he’s apparently been tracked down in Sri Lanka — by a private eye hired by a venture capital company, who was able to trace him to a fishing village by tracking a call he made to relatives over Skype. It’s not clear it’s done much good, as the FBI just says it’s checking out the report, while rumors say Alexander’s already ditched Sri Lanka, perhaps for some place where it’s a little harder to get extradited. In any case, one of Skype’s selling points is its “security” — but as is pointed out on Bruce Schneier’s site, there’s a big difference between the encrypting of calls Skype does, and a system that offers anonymity, as Alexander has presumably discovered.

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Comments on “Note To Fugitives: Stay Off Of Skype”

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Yimba says:

Huh, I'll be "dam"ed. . .

“On the lam” has been popular American slang for “on the run” since at least the latter part of the 19th century. The root of “lam” is the Old Norse word “lamja,” meaning “to make lame,” and the original meaning of “lam,” when it first appeared in English back in the 16th century, was “to beat soundly.” The English word “lame” is from the same source, as is “lambaste,” a double whammy in that the “baste” part is from a Scandinavian root meaning “thrash or flog.”

The change in the meaning of “lam” from “beat” to “run away” probably echoed another slang term for running away — “beat it.” To “beat it” or “lam it” is to rapidly beat the road with one’s feet by running, just as sheep do when they smell mint sauce.

Mr. P says:

Skyp had a record of the call – to connect the call it used the origonating IP and the Destintation IP, and all the hops inbetween. Since all IPs are registered – you follow the hops back to Sri Lanka, the IP provider. From there the PI just needed to buy off the IP provider, or more likely a employee, to get the information on receintly opened accounts. A few visits later and bingo.

not that hard really.


( and no – I don’t spell very well at 3AM)

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