Home Business IT Security Mac Skype hack exposed

Now that a patch is available, the organisation that found the Mac Skype vulnerability is openly discussing the issue.  We recommend users get the update quickly.

Recently, the team at Pure Hacking discovered a bug in the current Mac version of Skype.  In the interests of ethical disclosure, they reported the bug to Skype in detail and announced to the world only that they had discovered an issue.

Skype has now released an updated version with the issue addressed.  With that version now widely available, Pure Hacking has decided to discuss the issue in detail.

The bug is based around a persistent XSS (cross-site scripting) attack which would allow an attacker to redirect a victim's PC to any website of the attacker's choosing (which will almost certainly contain some kind of anti-social software!).

According to the statement by Gordon Maddern of Pure Hacking, It is caused by Skype failing to sanitize a message before the client renders the message. It is persistant because it is stored in the users chat history and the payload is re-executed everytime the contact is clicked. It requires no user interation and can be triggered just by sending a message. As far as we could tell there was no setting to prevent this. The following proof of concept demonstrates this:


The success of this attack is up to the attackers imagination. Some of the examples Pure Hacking tested were:

1) Using a browser exploit to execute shellcode
2) Using metasploits browser autopwn
3) Using SET to clone the skype.com website so the victim was redirected to what looked like the Skype website and running a malicious java applet
4) Using Beef to hook in a zombie
5) Using the the javascript attack API

If readers use Skype on a Mac and haven't yet downloaded the latest version, iTWire suggests they do so immediately.

WEBINAR 26/27th May

Thinking of deploying Business Intelligence (BI)? So are your competitors.

And the most important, fundamental, tool for delivering your BI information to your users? Dashboards.




VMware changed the rules about the server resources required to keep a database responding

It's now more difficult for DBAs to see interaction between the database and server resources

This whitepaper highlights the key differences between performance management between physical and virtual servers, and maps out the five most common trouble spots when moving production databases to VMware

1. Innacurate metrics
2. Dynamic resource allocation
3. No control over Host Resources
4. Limited DBA visibility
5. Mutual ignorance

Don't move your database to VMware before learning about these potential risks, download this FREE Whitepaper now!


David Heath

joomla statistics

David Heath has over 25 years experience in the IT industry, specializing particularly in customer support, security and computer networking. Heath has worked previously as head of IT for The Television Shopping Network, as the network and desktop manager for Armstrong Jones (a major funds management organization) and has consulted into various Australian federal government agencies (including the Department of Immigration and the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence). He has also served on various state, national and international committees for Novell Users International; he was also the organising chairman for the 1994 Novell Users' Conference in Brisbane. Heath is currently employed as an Instructional Designer, building technical training courses for industrial process control systems.






Join the iTWire Community and be part of the latest news, invites to exclusive events, whitepapers and educational materials and oppertunities.
Why do I want to receive this daily update?
  • The latest features from iTWire
  • Free whitepaper downloads
  • Industry opportunities