#SkypeDown: Great For Other Voice Chat Apps

After facing hours of outage on Monday, Skype was finally restored for users in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Apart from frustrated users, this problem also led to many new video chatting apps raising their banners.

Video calling apps wrote some extra tweets

Skype downUsers regularly access Skype for personal and work purposes. They took to Twitter to express their concerns. Interestingly, many johnny-come-lately apps that offer voice and video chats also took to #skypedown to promote their services. Discordapp.com and rabb.it were some of the names that came up. They conveyed messages like, who needs Skype and it’s time to check out a new app.  

According to Statista, Skype had 300 million active users as of August 2015. This is the highest number of users among video calling social networks. The numbers suggest there is a vast market to explore but most competitors have not been able to make a breakthrough. Skype has become a synonym for video chats with its many subscribers ad ease of use.

After the long breakdown Skype witnessed yesterday, it remains to be seen if other video calling apps are able to make a little dent. If there’s someone determined out there, it could also be the beginning of a new phase for video calling.

Skype is not the first 

Skype is not the only big name to face such concerns recently. Last week, Twitter’s desktop client went kaput for over an hour. Over the weekend, Amazon Web Services also suffered a break down, which affected services like Buffer and Netflix as well.

What was the issue with Skype?

Microsoft, which owns Skype, said that they had “detected an issue with the status settings”. The status of many people showed “offline”, which restricted them from making calls. However, the issues was resolved about 4 hours back.

Skype had acknowledged the problem and they were constantly informing users about the status through their social media channels. In a further blog post, the company said, “We’re in the process of reconnecting our users, and focused on restoring full service.” The statement added that Skype for Business users was not affected yesterday.

Skype went down Monday morning, which caused a lot of panic among people who depend on it for various purposes.… Read the rest

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Microsoft Announces Latest Skype Beta That Comes With Windows 10 Mobile Compatibility

As a surprise, Microsoft has launched a beta version for the new messaging application for Skype on Windows 10 Mobile devices. The latest app is directed towards replacement of the stock messaging client that is currently available on handsets running on Windows 10 Mobile. It will offer both video call and messaging features to users.

The new universal Skype app is significant of the new route Microsoft is treading as well as Skype’s new approach. This is seen as justified given that it now wants to rank among the topmost texting and IP calling services on a global scale.

Microsoft Announces Latest Skype Beta That Comes With Windows 10 Mobile CompatibilityWhat’s New With Skype Now?

Skype now offers texting, IM, emoticon as well as call support all at once to users. Of course, you need to be signed in using a Microsoft account.  The latest Skype Messaging, Calling and Video ‘Preview’ integrates specific features of Skype into your Phone apps to ensure faster streaming/services. The integration feature is currently not available on handsets that run on Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or even Windows 7. Microsoft has not yet officially announced how soon the beta app will be available for the Windows 10 Mobile testers. We are anticipating a release for a latest Windows 10 Mobile preview build too and perhaps then Skype Beta will be up and available for the testers.

Wrapping Up With Skype

As of now it is unclear is the public will get to access this new prepped up version in beta. However, we do know that with time, Microsoft will allow the new Skype to run seamlessly across all Windows versions on Mobile.  Ultimately, Skype will turn out as one big universal app that can be integrated with ease. Wait until year end and we will know for sure.… Read the rest

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Skype Users in India Beware: Malware Found

Here’s some bad news for Skype users based in India. The popular VoIP service is experiencing spam attacks, so please take necessary caution when using this service. The government has also issued an advisory regarding the “malicious spam campaign” which targets users by sending IMs that appear to have come from their friends’ list. According to the government’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), the malware can take over control of the user’s system by a backdoor channel and communicate sensitive information to a remote http server.

This makes the malware capable of stealing personal details for use in fraudulent activities and also acting as ransomware. The advisory goes on to request users to avoid clicking on unsolicited web links or attachments received via IM on Skype and install necessary security updates to the software. Also, ensure that your anti-virus system is up to date and active.

This is not the first incident to occur on Skype. A few weeks ago, users experienced ransomware starting with a message “lol is this your new profile pic?” This message was accompanied by a link that downloaded malware into the system. This link leads to a file locker system and lets the attacker access all sorts of information from a user’s computer, including passwords to various accounts as well as the power to launch DDoS attacks.… Read the rest

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Dorkbot Worm is Affecting Skype

After Twitter and Facebook, it seems Dorkbot has managed to infect Skype. Skype has always been susceptibe to malware and spam. The Dorkbot ransomware now gets people to click on random links that are sent to their accounts. These reports are being verified by security firms that have identified Dorkbot as the worm that sends out messages to social networks and tricks users to click on them.

So any tweet or status updated is seen by the viewer in another variation. This variation is a link that leads the unsuspecting user into the loop. Security firm Trend Micro has said that the Skype worm is ‘spreading fast’ and the messages are being seen in English and German. However, a contrary report by Sophos says that their investigation into the scale of attack is still underway and that they have seen a small number of reports so far.… Read the rest

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Skype and Authorities Merge to Get User Information and Chats

To the disappointment of many, especially the politicians with rebellious nature, criminals and others who like to use Skype for unethical reasons, it’s time for you to buckle up as the online phone service company has decided to comply with law enforcement authorities. The company has now decided to give full support to authorities and provide all online chats and other user information to the police, in case they need it for some official purpose.

One of the officials closely related to the matter has said, though it is almost impossible to scrutinize the audio and video feeds, but the fact that the Skype has given its support will break the barrier, as Skype today is one of the most popular forms of telecommunication.

In order to provide information to authorities, the company will have to make technical changes in its system. However, Skype has clarified that it has already taken necessary steps last year, after its acquisition with Microsoft.

Executives of the United States and other countries have been trying hard to put this security measure in place since long and are thankful that this has taken place. They are of the view that having access to newer modes of communication is necessary in order to resolve some cases, especially the ones that the FBI calls “going dark.”

Officials have appreciated the way in which Microsoft have looked at this problem and shown its consent in every way possible. One of the officials said Microsoft has handled this issue with “tremendous sensitivity and a canny awareness of what the issues would be” and its gesture is really appreciated. He also said, “The company has had a long track record of working successfully with law enforcement here and internationally.”

Though this step of giving access to addresses and credit card numbers have gained lots of praise from security officials, but activists and analysts are not really happy with company’s this move.

Authorities who have always been complaining that because of the sites like that of Skype it has almost become impossible for them to track activities of drug lords, pedophiles and terrorists. But with Skype’s decision of giving in the system this all may be possible.

Hackers and privacy experts are of the view that over the past months Skype has made efforts to change its technology, which will make it easy for the government to track unethical movements.

“The issue is, to what extent our communications are being purpose-built to make surveillance easy?” said Lauren Weinstein, co-founder of People for Internet Responsibility, a digital privacy group. “When you make it easy to do, law enforcement is going to want to use it more and more. If you build it, they will come.’’… Read the rest

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