Re: In the news: Soon to be published, Skype back-door trojan code?

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On Monday 31 August 2009, Alan Cox wrote:
>On Sun, 30 Aug 2009 11:28:58 +0100
>Marko Vojinovic <[email protected]> wrote:
>> On Sunday 30 August 2009 09:20:59 Tim wrote:
>> > On Sat, 2009-08-29 at 14:09 -0700, Joel Gomberg wrote:
>> > > I thought Skype was P2P application
>> >
>> > Supposedly it is, but with closed source, you've no real idea what it's
>> > going to do.  Even hacking software to reverse engineer it may only
>> > give you a partial picture, particularly if it's convoluted.
>> Is there any initiative or attempts to reverse engineer its protocol?
>There have been but it uses every malware like trick of the book to self
>encrypt and the like. With virtual machines it isn't of course quite so
>safe any more.
>There are also some other awkward factors
>- The person who completely reverse engineers skype probably destroys it.
>  If you can write a skype client than the spammers can write skype spam
>  tools as well.
>- Skype appears to contain various law enforcement intercept facilities
>  judging by the evidence - although mostly circumstantial.
>- The Skype business model depends upon interoperability not working
>  (like early instant messaging systems), so you would expect a mix of
>  protocol changes and thermonuclear level legal responses if the work
>  was done in the USA or other countries with broken DMCA type laws.
>> programming... But surely *someone* does, is there any known attempt to
>> do this?
>I would imagine anyone doing so is keeping fairly quiet - there is big
>money on offer from the bad guys for skype trojans, intercepts and
>clients, while anyone on the good side fiddling with it faces jail and
>harrasment - a fine example of perverse economic incentives.

Absolutely spot on Alan.

Cheers, Gene
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