Ban Skype

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog -
Rich Tehrani
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Ban Skype

Info-Tech Research says you should ban corporate Skype usage ASAP. Should you? Well they cite a few reasons you should such as:
  • Skype is not standards-compliant, allowing it and any vulnerability to pass through corporate firewalls.
  • Skype's encryption is closed source and prone to man-in-the-middle attacks. There are also some unanswered questions about how well the keys are managed.
  • Enterprises using Skype risk a communication barrier with countries and institutions that have already banned the service.
  • Skype is undetectable, untraceable, and unauditable, putting organizations that are subject to compliance laws at risk.
  • The question of whether VoIP calls constitute a business record is a legal quagmire. Throwing Skype into the communications mix further clouds the issue.
If that doesn't scare you, consider this:

"Approximately 17 million registered Skype users are using the service for business purposes," says Armstrong. "Unless an organization specifies instances where Skype use is acceptable, and outlines rules for client-side Skype settings, that's 17 million opportunities for a hacker to invade a corporate network."

I have heard many of these security concerns before so this report is timely. Any time you have encrypted p2p communications you risk spreading who knows what between peers. Is it a matter of time before there is some massive virus or work outbreak? Possibly. Imagine a phone-based denial of service attack for example where American Airlines is shut down. In other words instead of having many computers sending traffic to a site, Skype clients could all SkypeOut to American Airlines at once.

This is a feasible scenario that is not limited to Skype but something we need to be prepared for.

For more check out comments from
Tom Keating.

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