Information Security Office

Skype: Introduction

     Skype is a popular voice over IP (VoIP) application that allows communication from personal computers and mobile devices. It allows conversations to contain audio & video, instant messaging capabilities and the ability to transfer files. Although there are many VoIP applications available, Skype remains the most popular.

     The low entry cost of using Skype is directly related to its popularity and it provides interesting collaboration possibilities. At the same time, Skype presents unique challenges regarding support, infrastructure costs, and accidental exposure of sensitive information, network bandwidth consumption and potential security vulnerabilities.

     Skype is not prohibited from being used on the BGSU network, however due to certain aspects of the way in functions, Information Technology Services is not able to provide technical support for the application. Additionally, use of Skype on the network must be done so consistent with BGSU Information Technology Policies.  

    Although reviewing and implementing Skype Safety Recommendations is important, it does not guarantee strong security is in place. If a Skype system endangers the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of BGSU data or systems (for example, several years ago a worm was propagating through Skype systems), its usage will be terminated immediately.

  In late August 2009, malicious code was released that intercepts Skype audio conversations and sends to an attacker. 

Symantec discovers Trojan targeting Skype users - The Tech Herald - 7/28/09

In May 2010, it was reported that Skype users received links that installed malware.

Malicious links being sent via Skype - PC1News.com - 5/19/10

As attackers continue to focus on Skype's popularity,  it is important to review system security  on a regular basis. 

To request additional information or provide comments, contact us at:

infosec@bgsu.edu

For more information regarding Skype security, please review:

Skype Safety Recommendations