This is a worrying revelation. Ars Technica has found that the so-called private messages that users send each other on Skype may not be that private, after all. The publication, together with independent privacy and security researcher Ashkan Soltani, made this discovery.
To carry out their tests, they sent four web links using Skype and while two of these were not clicked on, the two others – one beginning in HTTP link and the other HTTPS – were accessed by a machine with the IP address 184.108.40.206 (it belongs to Microsoft). This led them to conclude that the software giant can not only see the plain text as it is sent from one Skype user to another, but that the company regularly monitors these messages.
Your private messages may not be private after all! (Image Credit: Getty Images)
Matt Green, a professor specialising in encryption at Johns Hopkins University, told Ars Technica: “The problem right now is that there's a mismatch between the privacy people expect and what Microsoft is actually delivering. Even if Microsoft is only scanning links for 'good' purposes, say detecting malicious URLs, this indicates that they can intercept some of your text messages. And that means they could potentially intercept a lot more of them.”