(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
malware, skype, wiretap


Proof Of Concept Skype Wiretapping Malware Released

from the not-so-secret-any-more dept

One of the benefits of Skype was that, due to the way it works (P2P, encrypted communications), it made it much more difficult to do any sort of wiretap. This has upset various governments who are used to having the ability to wiretap any voice communications. However, it's never impossible. The most obvious way is to simply create some sort of trojan that gets installed on one user's computer that has audio recording abilities -- and Symantec is going around hyping up the fact that source code for just such a trojan has been released. Of course, even Symantec admits that there's no evidence of the code actually being used in the wild -- it seems more like a proof-of-concept. On top of that, it's hardly a new idea. Nearly a year ago, we talked about how German authorities were accused of using something that sounded quite similar. Still, it is a good reminder that even if you're using an encrypted Skype call, at either end of that call, the audio is decrypted, and a well-placed recording system can capture it.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2009 @ 5:51am

    I can see a pretty easy way around this. Just make a Linux LiveCD with Skype already on it. Sure, it'll be beyond most criminals, but I think you could probably find someone more computer savvy to do it for you. Certainly for large organized crime syndicates, it would be easy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    NullOp, 31 Aug 2009 @ 5:55am


    I am always humored by spying stories. Having done a bit myself, legally, I know there is nothing more boring in the world except perhaps watching porn.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous, 31 Aug 2009 @ 7:39am

    Proof of two concepts

    LiveCD is a great idea. Heck Skype will even run off a flash drive. It's a great little program.

    The proof of concept is that it can be done. The second concept proven I think is that it WILL be done. Just as nothing is foolproof to the adequately equipped fool, anything available to the public WILL be hacked, it's just a matter of time.

    This particular hack kinda makes me chuckle, though, at the simplicity. I feel like Brain laughing at Pinky's scheme and saying "That's the stupidest idea in the world!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Malware Removal Bot, 16 Sep 2009 @ 8:54am

    As most readers will already know, a new 0-day vulnerability in MS Video ActiveX Control is currently being exploited in the wild. Lots of research material has already been published covering different aspects of this vulnerability and the attack vector. I have nothing more to add on this front. I would rather focus on explaining the details of the malware behind the scenes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mike, 18 Nov 2009 @ 6:42am

    So the hackers who successfully implement this malware will be rewarded with hours upon hours of mp3 files that they will have to wade through in order to find any relevant (valuable) data. This has to be the least efficient form of hacking I have ever heard of.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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