Is Skype Safe?

Discussion in 'Keeping Your Anonymity In Iran' started by jbrown998, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. jbrown998 Member

    Okay. I've been trying to find out and answer to this. I've heard that all Skype communication is encrypted. Can the government listen in to Skype calls (pc to pc skype calls)? Or record them and listen later? Is Skype a safe way to communicate for both parties? Please describe in as much detail as possible.
  2. Twister Member

    I have used Skype since it was a beta version. I have had no personal trouble with the service and know that all communications are encrypted.

    But, given this Regime's insidiousness, I must refer to one situation where Skype security was breached and Skype itself was unaware at first. It involves China and supposedly a dissident was arrested based on use of keywords setup by filters. This happened last year.

    Please know that China partnered with Skype to create its own version of the program, so I am sure that is what compromised it. But by conscience, I felt obligated to report.

    NYT article

    Huge System for Web Surveillance Discovered in China

    and here is the Skype 'official' response to this incident, to give balance.

    Skype President Addresses Chinese Privacy Breach

    I am a fan of Skype; I am not trying to undermine them in any way. This is the only known incident I am aware of where Skype was compromised. There was a period of time when accounts were being hijacked, but it did not involve any communications or spying.

    Hope this is of help.
  3. jbrown998 Member


    Thanks for your response! I just want to make sure they can't listen in on the voice conversation. I'm not worried about text messages. If anyone has any other information, it would be appreciated.
  4. patrick30 Member

    Check out the post relating to skype.

    It depends how your using skype, are you using skype to contact (A) mobiles or landlines or are you using it to contact your (B)friends online?

    (A) I would use a vpn in both methods of communication along with Skype.
    (B) I would not use Skype and just use a software like YouSAB Community VPN Messenger|VPN service|Anonymous Surfing which has VPN VOIP and messenger built in to it. All communication over this network will be 100 percent secure!

    Hope this helps :)
  5. Nedjarsan Member

    Basecally i am convinced, that all ip traffic and content via legally obtained software could be survaied by government.
    Why should they not be able of hacking.

    You have to differ two things here:

    I: Tracing ur location.
    That means that ur location can be tracked.

    In my oppinion that is the easy-part; somebody only has to do some research and minor law-violating on Your skype alias.
    And i know that it can be done. ( ;-} )

    II: Recording conversation.

    Intelligence actually record Your ongoing conversation.

    Much more difficult in my oppinion.

    But as always:
    Computer technology is man made and there are no 100% secure programs or applications. 100% security is just a dream.
  6. CradleOfCiv Member

    Nedjarsan, I do not know specifically what Skype uses for encryption but algorithms available today are basically impossible to break using brute force as that would require ages (literally geological ages) of computing. They can ofcourse employ more "clever" methods and we would have to ask a real cryptologist to get better information about this but my understanding is that even they are not very effective at breaking these modern encryptions and cannot be used in mass scale.

    So I do not know if Skype is safe but I do know that there are safe methods available for a determined net-user. The only problem is, they may possibily be able to tell that you are hiding something. They are not going to find out what you are hiding but something. Once the government has no regard for rights, they just may find it enough grounds to come and get you...
  7. Nedjarsan Member


    but u know i still put it like this:

    there is no 100% burgelar safe house.
    If somebody really,really wants to break in he will do.

    Even if i agree that the brute-force method is quite difficult with this-time encrypting and takes a lot of time.
    Anyhow u do not need a brute-force as long as You have the key
  8. Nedjarsan Member

  9. skype uses arcfour obfuscation. It's hides your traffic but provides no privacy. It was attacked in 2005, and skype uses the algorithm in a most vulnerable way.
    The encryption just makes it more difficult for the convo to be seen, but a moderate effort can crack the call once it's discovered.

  10. Nedjarsan Member


    Touche :D
  11. Skype Trojan can log VoIP conversations

    Skype Trojan can log VoIP conversations - News - PC Authority
  12. Jakomeyu Member

    so in conclusion, skype itself is safe, but there are factors that could make it less safe
  13. No. Skype offers Unsecure communication. So no that's wrong.

  14. echo-IRAN Member

    As usual, there are lots of disinformation due to the enemy or just stupidity.

    The Skype software is secure. Conversation and messages are encrypted end to end. Nowadays encryption are practically unbreakable, unless you have a backdoor. Skype's encryption is not open source I suppose, meaning that they may have a back door for NSA, CIA, that sort of orgs. Certainly not a built in back door for Iran govt. Discovering a back door I suppose is easier than breaking any code, and Skype will suffer the consequences for allowing it.

    How secure is Skype? China's version of Skype, TOM, has a back door for the govt, meaning that if you are using the authentic skype software, even the Chinese cannot crack it.

    Skype is truly P2P, meaning that the messages go through some of other people's computer before reaching destination. Indeed, because of the millions of skype users all over the world at any one time, the usual anti-censorship software all have a skype mode, using random talkative users as proxies. Those intercepting the traffic do not know where the conversation originates or terminates, unless the end user's names are leaked, which is not likely, and experts can tell you. Or, if you are monitored, the govt do not know who you are talking to, or what you are talking about.

    Ancient skype do not use encryption, or the encryption is not that good. Ancient is ancient.

    As for malware, anything bad can get into your computer and do whatever they like. That's nothing to do with Skype service or the Skype software. Anything can listen to the headset can store the messages when skype is active. Antivirus and adware shuld be able to deal with these as there are not much ways to hook to the sound devices.
  15. Jakomeyu Member

    can skype be tapped like regular phone lines?
  16. Skype is made by some danish guys, so I dont think you shall be afraid of the american goverment listening to what you are saying, since skype is under danish laws, and you may not listen to peoples private talks in denmark, without permission.
  17. Tweak Member

    As for recording skype calls i use IMCapture for Skype. I always record my interviews with it's help.
  18. Skype uses strong crypto for communications to-and-from the server.

    But communications CAN be decrypted at the Skype server. A government entity with the jurisdiction to serve a subpoena on Skype which thus be able to listen in on any conversations they wish.

    There have been actual court cases (in Europe) where Skype conversations were admitted into evidence by authorities who had obtained them via subpoena power.

    So the answer is: If you are worried about corporate espionage, Skype is safe (as long as Skype itself isn't compromised.) If you are worried about a government, Skype is definitely NOT safe.

  19. Enara Member

    Then, if we cannot use skype communications... what can we use?
  20. Well.....maybe there is another option...few friends of mine created something called BlackHole because the whole idea of end to end by skype is very suspicious. Our app encrypts locally and then uses skype as a courier so you see in skype chat window what is being sent. I would really appreciated if you could check it out and tell me of what you think. App is for free so I'm not selling anything....just want to know what you thing. It can be downloaded here www
  21. Well, maybe there is another option...few friends of mine created something called BlackHole because the whole idea of end to end by skype is very suspicious. Our app encrypts locally and then uses skype as a courier so you see in skype chat window what is being sent. I would really appreciated if you could check it out and tell me of what you think. App is for free so I'm not selling anything....just want to know what you thing. It can be downloaded here
  22. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Hi Fourmyle
    Please register, if you want feed back you want to be here to hear it.
    This thread is a better fit for this topic
    Your app sounds good but be aware many here don't click on links unless they know where they go. Can you copy/paste some of it here?
  23. Thanks Disambiguation....

    I'm kind of new to this site so do not know all the habits and rules yet. Listening to all that fuss about end to end encryption by skype and all others makes me laugh....unless creator releases the source code .....we can never trust such assurances :) thanks for letting me know that most members would not click on the unknown link....I forgot about this....just wanted to show people that there may be another way. You can have your chats safe and as a bonus stay invisible meaning nobody will even know whether you coding or not. Well, technology still requires some improvements but if we here from people that they like it ........judge for yourself here is a 2 min video on youtube. This I hope you can click on Later on I will place a new tread where you suggested .
  24. Fourmyle Member


    I would like to follow up on your comment above and ask for your additional opinion. Do you think that the forum you have suggested is the right one? I would really appreciate if you could give me your feedback on the video (link above). We create a small but sophisticated app that working with i.e. skype allows people to stay of the radar of government agencies and others. I think that in many countries like for example Iran, lately Turkey and many others where people have no way to communicate in a safe private way, an app like this would help a lot. If you watch the short 2 min video you will see how useful it may be. We are not trying to make money on this (free app) but this day it is hard to pass your work to people even if it is a good one :). I could start posting an info about this app in regional section of your forums but I do not want to be seen as an annoying marketer that needs to be banned. That if you could please watch the video and let me know how could I spread the news. BTW we have version ready which will allow you to send not only chat but also files in invisible and encrypted way. Maybe one of you guys (moderators) could write a word or two about it. It will serve privacy on line and staying anonymous. Please let me know of what you think.


  25. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Now I see what you mean.
    Your comments are in the "keeping your anonymity in Iran" thread. "Production Studio" might be better, or in the "freedom of information" forum, or even in "General Discussion" or "Anonymous News" section. Take a look and decide what fits your discussion.
    Because YouTube shows where viewers are by country or state, I don't click on videos that have a small number of viewers. If you link me to your channel, not the video, I'll take a look at viewer numbers.

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