A group of crytoanalysts have published what they claim is the Skype encryption algorithm. The group, led by Sean O’Neil, claim to have successfully reverse engineered the RC4 cipher, an encryption technology used by Skype.
The encryption technology is used by Skype to protect communications between clients and the company’s servers. Nevertheless, even if the successful cracking of the cipher is confirmed, this does not necessarily mean individuals will be able to listen in on Skype conversations.
O’Neil justified the publication of the crack by saying the hole was already being exploited by spammers. Skype claims O’Neil’s research has actually facilitated the work of cyber miscreants.
“We believe that the work being done by Sean O’Neil, who we understand was formerly known as Yaroslav Charnovsky, is directly facilitating spamming attacks against Skype and we are considering our legal remedies,” Skype told TechCrunch. “Whilst we understand the desire for people to reverse engineer our protocols with the intent of improving security, the work done by this individual clearly demonstrates the opposite.”
A cache of O’Neil’s blogpost is available here