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[liberationtech] NYT report on Obama admin's wiretap plans

Daniel Colascione dan.colascione at gmail.com
Mon Sep 27 13:29:35 PDT 2010


On 9/27/2010 1:09 PM, Alec Muffett wrote:

> I was listening to recordings of this year's DEFCON, and heard a
> comment which - if I heard it correctly - suggested that Skype is
> today known to the community to nowadays be subject to interception.

Interesting if true. Given Skype's past famous resistance to attack, I'd
have to see more than a fuzzy report of a half-remembered comment at a
conference notorious for grandstanding before I believe such a tap
facility exists.

Note that Skype calls to and from POTS are trivial to intercept, as is
everything on ordinary phone lines.

The "Skype tap" program floating around is just a trojan [2].

> Would this presumption fit the current public understanding of Skype
> security?

I don't presume to be a Skype expert, but I have never heard of a
mechanism to tap Skype-to-Skype calls. As recently as 2009 [1], law
enforcement across the world was frustrated by an inability to tap Skype.

I've also heard persistent rumors that the NSA is offering a very large
sum of money (a billion dollars according to one report) to anyone who
creates a dependable Skype intercept[1][3], and that this prize is
unclaimed.

[1] http://www.macworld.com/article/138936/2009/02/skypeimmunity.html

[2]
http://www.h-online.com/security/news/item/Source-code-of-Skype-covert-tap-released-743129.html

[3]
http://www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/blogs/defrangesco/national-security-agency-seeks-massive-skype-encryption-hack/?cs=30459



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