Entries in Skype (9)


Skype Fixes Major Password Security Hole

Joanna Stern/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- It's not a good week for password security. Only a few days after Twitter reset a number of passwords because of a security breach, Skype also has had a password security problem.

Early Wednesday morning it was found that Skype's password reset tool had been compromised. Discovered by Russian hackers and first reported by the tech site Next Web, all that was needed to get into a Skype account was a Skype user name and the associated email address. The typical security roadblocks between getting into an account weren't in place; it didn't ask a user to confirm an email address with an email or answer a security question.

In response, Skype, which is now owned by Microsoft, first disabled the password reset feature Wednesday morning. But by 11 a.m. ET it had made updates to the tool. It now assures users that it is working properly. Skype claims only a small number of users were affected.

"This issue affected some users where multiple Skype accounts were registered to the same email address," Skype said in a statement on its website. "We are reaching out to a small number of users who may have been impacted to assist as necessary. Skype is committed to providing a safe and secure communications experience to our users, and we apologize for the inconvenience."

Something different happened with Twitter earlier in the week. After an unknown website or online service compromised some accounts, Twitter users received an email notification asking them to choose new passwords. Twitter admitted that it reset more passwords than it should have. "In this case, we unintentionally reset passwords of a larger number of accounts, beyond those that we believed to have been compromised. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused," the company said.

Why is this happening? "The systems themselves can be compromised in a few ways. For instance, internally they might be missing patches that are allowing criminals to access servers," Robert Siciliano, an online security expert with McAfee, told ABC News. "You might have all the doors, but the locks are broken. With Skype and Twitter this week, they might have the systems in place, but they don't have the latest, greatest security to combat the certain attacks."

In this case, Siciliano couldn't offer any concrete user action, since this is really on the companies themselves. "It is beyond your control. If their systems are not set up properly, it really is buyer beware. Never assume these services, especially the free ones, have bullet-proof security systems."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Skype to Be Integrated Into Windows 8

Skype(RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif.)  -- A year ago Microsoft bought Skype, the video chat and calling software company, for $8.5 billion. But the first real integration between the companies looks like it will come with Windows 8.

“We are going to double down on Windows 8,” Skype’s CEO, Tony Bates, said at the All Things D conference. While he wouldn’t reveal much more and told interviewer Kara Swisher she would have to “wait and see,” he did add that there are “great integration points in terms of the product.”

Bates said that there are now 250 million Skype users, up from 170 million since Microsoft’s acquisition.

Microsoft on Thursday announced the Release Preview of Windows 8, a version computer-savvy people can download into existing devices. It doesn’t have any deeper Skype integration than older Windows versions, but there’s plenty of time for it to be added before the expected release of the full Windows 8 later this year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Skype Offers Free Wi-Fi to Holiday Travelers

Skype(NEW YORK) -- Skype has a gift for holiday travelers. Starting Wednesday, the company will offer free Wi-Fi in more than 50 airports across the country.

Users will be able to use the Internet for an hour, including making calls on Skype.

The free service is available for a week.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Facebook Unveils Video Chat Capability

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been saying for days the social networking giant would be rolling out something big, and he followed through on that boast Wednesday.

Zuckerberg introduced integrated video chat, which he described as "awesome."

Hooking up with Skype, Facebook users can now click a button to call a friend.  If the person on the other end doesn't have the necessary plug-in, Zuckerberg says the friend will see a pop-up to download a plug-in, which will take 20 seconds, tops.

With 750 million users, Facebook is bringing this video chat capability to a much wider audience.

Zuckerberg claims, "This is possible because the social infrastructure exists.  The system knows we're connected and we have the pipe open between us so new applications can flow between us."

Zuckerberg is promising more applications in the future, including additional Skype features and services on Facebook.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Microsoft-Skype Deal: What Can Consumers Expect?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- What does Microsoft need to do to keep Skype customers happy? Nothing at all.

Microsoft announced plans Tuesday to buy the popular phone service in an $8.5 billion deal. The marriage would bring Skype's 170 million connected users to Microsoft's empire of business and consumer tech services and products.

Analysts say much of the Internet phone company's value lies in its wide customer base and Microsoft would do well to keep users' experience unchanged.

If all goes according to plan, Skype's video chat services will be integrated with Microsoft's Outlook, Messenger, Hotmail, Xbox Live and Lync platforms, the companies said.

For those worried that Microsoft will pester Skype users with unwanted ads or other intrusive tactics, experts say Microsoft's big bank account means that monetization isn't an immediate necessity.

Skype services might also turn up on Facebook, industry watchers say. Facebook and Microsoft already have a partnership, including a Microsoft investment in the social network. It's possible that Facebook Connect (the platform that lets third parties integrate with the social network) could be used to find contacts and place Skype calls, Lance Ulanoff, editor-in-chief of, said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Report: Microsoft on Verge of Buying Skype

Mario Tama/Getty ImagesUPDATE: Microsoft has agreed to purchase Skype for $8.5 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports.

(NEW YORK) -- Microsoft is on the verge of making its biggest acquisition ever, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The software giant is reportedly close to sealing a deal to buy Skype, the Internet telephone service that boasts more than 660 million users worldwide, for $7 billion to $8 billion.  When everything's accounted for, the takeover is estimated to be valued at $8.5 billion.

Both companies have declined to comment on the possible acquisition, but the Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, says Microsoft could announce the deal as early as Tuesday.

If it happens, the acquisition could help Microsoft become a bigger force in the smartphone market.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Millions See Effects of Skype Outage

Photo Courtesy - Skype dot com(NEW YORK) -- Millions were without Skype Wednesday morning during an apparent outage of the communications service, according to Mashable.

The company addressed the issue Wednesday on its Twitter account, posting "Some of you may have problems signing into Skype -- we're investigating, and we're sorry for the disruption to your conversations."

While Mashable staff members noted they were able to sign in to the service, many were unable to see their contacts.  

The technology site also highlighted that Skype recently marked a new usage record, hosting 25 million people on the Internet communications service.  This speaks to the enormous problem created when the service goes down.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Man Made Stylish: Service for Men Who Hate to Shop

Courtesy - Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- A new Chicago-based service called Trunk Club that's part Fifth Avenue, part Silicon Valley, aims to take the guesswork, the legwork and the aggravation out of shopping for professional men.

The Web-based service, which calls itself a "designer clothing outfitter," takes a man's measurements over the Internet, sends him skads of clothes via FedEx and offers guys the complimentary two cents of a personal stylist, over Skype.

"Walking into a large and overwhelming shopping environment just is not that fun for guys," said Brian Spaly, CEO of Trunk Club.  "Women are more programmed to browse and enjoy sort of that aspect of sort of walking around and the art of shopping, and they're better at it than we are."

When Dan Spradling a 25-year-old who works in finance, moved from a small town in Michigan to New York City for a new job, he quickly realized he'd have to up his sartorial game.  Spradling, who regularly rocked cargo shorts when he wasn't at work and considered himself well-dressed if his shorts were hole-free, signed up for the service.

"They don't let you into clubs in sweatpants and flip flops,'' said Spradling.  "So unfortunately, I did have to get some clothes and real shoes." 

Trunk Club members join on the Internet and explain their needs. Then FedEx delivers a box of hand-picked items.

While Trunk Club Lead Stylist Michael Barkin watched via Skype, Spradling recently modeled his first batch of clothes.

As Spradling tried on a green plaid Ben Sherman shirt, Barkin told him, "I'm basically going to walk you through each different piece and how to wear it and what it'll coordinate with."

No driving.  No lines.  No endless on-line browsing.

Consultations and shipping are free, and customers can return what they don't want without paying for shipping.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Facebook and Skype in Talks to Team Up

Photo Courtesy - FacebookFacebook and Skype are talking about joining forces.  Published reports say both companies are expected to combine services, allowing Facebook members to sign in to Skype using their Facebook Connect accounts.  Users could then send text messages, voice chat and video chat with their Facebook friends from within Skype.  A deal is expected to be announced within the next few weeks. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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