Sep. 20, 2011 at 11:20 AM ET
Are you using the Skype for iOS app on your iPhone or iPod Touch? Then you need to be aware of how easily your information — particularly your entire address book — could be stolen without your knowledge. All it takes is a single chat message.
According to TechCrunch, the issue was first discovered by AppSec Consulting security researcher Phil Purviance — who claims that he pointed out the vulnerability to Skype about a month ago. You can see a rather technical demonstration of how information is stolen in the video below, but here's the simplified version:
The reason this series of events can occur is because the "Full Name" field isn't checked for malicious code.
Scary, right? But there are a few things you should know before you panic.
For starters, thanks to the way Apple has designed iOS — its mobile operating system — only certain files, including your address book, are vulnerable.
But most importantly, you should know that Skype is working on a fix for the security issue:
We are working hard to fix this reported issue in our next planned release which we hope to roll out imminently. In the meantime we always recommend people exercise caution in only accepting friend requests from people they know and practice common sense internet security as always.
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