Particularly in light of the fact that Skype is used by human rights defenders, including in Sri Lanka, as a means of secure communications is the speculation that it has a back-door entry that allows third parties, such as repressive government and intelligence agencies, gain access to conversations.
According to reports, there may be a back door built into Skype, which allows connections to be bugged. The company has declined to expressly deny the allegations. At a meeting with representatives of ISPs and the Austrian regulator on lawful interception of IP based services held on 25th June, high-ranking officials at the Austrian interior ministry revealed that it is not a problem for them to listen in on Skype conversations.
This has been confirmed to heise online by a number of the parties present at the meeting. Skype declined to give a detailed response to specific enquiries from heise online as to whether Skype contains a back door and whether specific clients allowing access to a system or a specific key for decrypting data streams exist. The response from the eBay subsidiary’s press spokesman was brief, “Skype does not comment on media speculation. Skype has no further comment at this time.” There have been rumours of the existence of a special listening device which Skype is reported to offer for sale to interested states.
Assume all communication that uses any kind of monitorable infrastructure is bugged. The capacity is there, and the desire is there. It is the way of things.
But as caluml (551744) reminds us,
I read a good presentation by people that had tried to disassemble Skype, and basically, Skype do so much to make it very, very difficult. Here’s a PDF version [blackhat.com] of it.
What do you think?