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Skype IM might not be as private as you think

July 16, 2012|By Michelle Maltais
  • Some Skype users have experienced inadvertent breaches of their accounts.
Some Skype users have experienced inadvertent breaches of their accounts. (Skype )

Although a fix may be in the works, you still might want to watch what you say over Skype IM for now.

Apparently, a new and unintended "feature" of the recent Skype update a handful of users have experienced might be what amounts to unsolicited instant-message eavesdropping.

So far, just a few users have reported on the Skype support forum a breach that is quite disturbing. They say contacts were receiving snippets from private IM exchanges they weren't involved in.

"Messages sent by one contact (2 lines out of a hundred or so) were sent to another contact of mine," one user wrote. "These 2 contacts are not connected on Skype. The 2 IMs appeared to be sent by me, so the other contact asked me if I sent them by mistake."

Another user wrote, "I have the same problem, messages from one of my contacts went to another, as being sent by me. Very awkward and slightly embarrassing."

As recently as about five hours ago, a frustrated user posted that this privacy breach is the last straw.

"This is still going on, entire conversation i had in the morning was sent to a wrong contact," the user wrote. "This is it, i'm out!"

It could be associated with the latest update — Skype 5.10.0.115 — according to reports on the support forum. We've reached out to Skype for comment and await a reply.

The issue has yet to be addressed on the Skype security blog, whose last entry is from June about a chain letter urging users not to update.

But Skype has responded that it is investigating the issue, according to Engadget.

It said in a statement: "We are aware in rare circumstances IMs between two contacts could be sent to an unintended third contact. We are rolling out a fix for this issue in the next few days and will notify our users to download an updated version of Skype."

In the meantime, you might not want to transmit anything you wouldn't want accidentally broadcast.

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Going to Ethiopia? If you use Skype, you could be there 15 years

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