Hackers Can Exploit Skype Vulnerability to Find User IP Address

Hackers can now capture your IP address and expose your physical location by sending a Skype link, even if you don’t click it.

An IP address, which stands for “Internet Protocol address,” is like a unique digital home address for your device on the internet. The IP addresses are sensitive addresses because they can reveal certain information about you and your online activities like:-

  • Approximate location
  • Type of device you’re using
  • Websites you visit

In a report shared with 404 Media, it’s been affirmed that the cybersecurity researcher behind this discovery, Yossi, has already notified Microsoft about this vulnerability earlier this month.

After being notified by Yossi, Microsoft initially ignored fixing this vulnerability until 404 Media pushed Microsoft for a patch.


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Technical Analysis

An IP reveals location, especially in less populated areas, due to which this attack potentially threatens the following entities:-

  • Activists
  • Dissidents
  • Journalists

Cooper Quintin, a security researcher, and senior public interest technologist at the activist organization the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), verified the vulnerability with a practical demonstration from Yossi.

In the practical demo with Cooper Quintin, Yossi sent a legit link on Skype to Cooper, and without clicking on it, the IP address of Cooper Quintin got exposed.

IP grabbing flaw in action (Source – 404Media)

Moreover, Yossi stated that the IP address issue only affected Skype’s mobile apps, not the Mac version.

In normal chats, apps act as buffers between users, often holding IP info. However, in the case of Skype, it seems unusual, as it shares the IPs if hacked, and this could risk the privacy of pseudonymous dissidents.

It’s been justified that the exploitation of this vulnerability is quite simple, as it involves tweaking a certain link parameter.

For now, 404 Media affirmed that they will not disclose any technical details regarding this vulnerability since Microsoft does not yet fix this flaw.

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