Skype users warned of serious security problem – accounts can be hijacked with ease

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

A serious security problem has been uncovered in Skype, which allows hackers to hijack accounts just by knowing users’ email addresses.

The Next Web describes how it managed to reproduce the attack, accessing the Skype accounts of staff by just knowing their email address, and then changing the passwords of their “victims” to lock them out.

According to The Next Web:

“The reason this works is simple, but it’s still worrying. When you use an existing email address to sign up with Skype again, the service emails you a reminder of your username, which is okay, since no one else should have access to your email. Unfortunately, because this method enables you to get a password reset token sent to the Skype app itself, this allows a third party to redeem it and claim ownership of your original username and thus account.”

The issue was reportedly documented on Russian forums months ago, and appears to have been easy to exploit.

Skype has responded to the reports by…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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