A Skype Back Door?


High-ranking officials at the Austrian interior ministry have said it isn't a problem to listen into Skype conversations, implying that there is a back door built into the program.

Heise online has talked to a number of parties present at a June 25 meeting between ISP representatives and the Austrian regulator on lawful intercept of IP services who confirm the report. Skype has declined comment on if the software has a back door or if there is a specific key for decrypting data streams.

Rumors have been floating around on Skype selling a special listening device to interested governments and there has long been speculation about a back door to the program.  Because Skype's code and protocols are both proprietary and closed, security experts have long wondered what Skype is capable of and what risks may arise in deploying the software in an enterprise environment.

Austrian officials have demanded that ISP allow the interior ministry to install network bridges and Linux servers in their network centers to copy and filter data traffic. If they don't, officials will work to enforce more expensive European ETSI lawful intercept standards.

For more:
- Heise Online reports on the potential for a Skype backdoor

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