Skype/Facebook integration spawns hijack risk

Don't talk to strangers...


A bug involving the method Skype uses to integrate with Facebook creates a possible account-hijack risk, security watchers warn.

The latest update to Skype – version 5.5 – released last week, contains closer integration with the social network, allowing surfers to track Facebook status updates and post wall messages from the Skype client.

Security researcher David Vieira-Kurz warns that the feature is insecure because it fails to filter JavaScript code in Facebook status messages. That means that, provided a potential victim is tricked into befriending a malicious player on the social network, it might be possible to capture a user's Skype session cookie, creating an account-hijack risk in the process.

The same trick would work if a potential victim is tricked into visiting a maliciously constructed fan site on the social network, heise Security reports, adding that the bug also affects earlier versions of Skype's software, dating back to version 5.3, when less-sophisticated Facebook integration was first introduced.

In a statement, Skype said the Facebook integration flaw is another aspect to the earlier cross-site scripting flaw it fixed with a server-side update last week. A Skype spokesman said: "The newly reported Cross Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability that allows your Facebook stream to pop up messages or redirect you to other websites is actually an issue that was fixed recently by an update deployed to users. All affected users should already be protected. Skype users do not need to install any updates for this fix to take effect."

The latest bug follows less than a fortnight after the discovery of a broadly similar cross-site scripting bug – which the Microsoft-owned VoIP outfit fixed with a server-side update last week. ®

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022