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Author Topic: Skype security  (Read 2101 times)
Daniel
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« on: December 10, 2008, 06:05:03 pm »

I've heard that the Skype version for Windows has lots of spyware on it. Does the Linux version of Skype that we can get through repos have spyware also?
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wcs
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 07:05:59 pm »

The repo version simply downloads the binaries from the Skype website and installs them in the right places.
So, in that sense, there's nothing "special" about the package you can get from the repo. Whatever problems the skype binaries have will be there for the repo package.

The skype version of Linux is different from the one on Windows, so maybe one cannot instantly extrapolate from one platform to the other. Also, maybe it helps if you're running a secure system (not logging in as root, etc..), which tends to be easier or more common in Linux than in Windows.

A lot of the comments I've seen are somewhat paranoid. People see in their firewalls that skype starts all sorts of connections to other computers and get scared. But that is just how skype works and is probably the reason why it works so well.

Then again, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not after you...  Wink
I don't know what kind of things skype might monitor on our computers.... Skype is proprietary software, you cannot see the  source code, and the protocol it uses is also not open. If that concerns you, you might want to try some open-source alternatives that use the sip protocol (I don't think we have any alternatives in the repos... somebody correct me if I'm wrong).

Perhaps unfortunately, nothing else I've tried works as well as skype... but that would depend on your requirements.
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deNiros
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2009, 04:46:28 pm »

I've heard that the Skype version for Windows has lots of spyware on it. Does the Linux version of Skype that we can get through repos have spyware also?

Just recently i monitored the windows version of skype's behaviour with filemon. when skype starts it runs queries on all your history, so all the files you recently opened and stuf. Also on your internet history, favourites, index.dat. It writes a supercookie (flash cookie) to the flash shared objects (dunno the content of that) and lots more.

The linux version only checks the data in your firefox profile (history, favourites, etc), as far as i know. But i am not sure. Perhaps you can check it our yourself with "strace" (a similar tool like filemon on windows)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strace

I can't check it because i wanna keep my main operating system clean ( which is linux). So i have no skype installed on linux. And on windows i install all the spyware, like skype, since i only use that OS for gaming, and nothing more so there is no private data to share.

There is probably a reason why skype is for "free".
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