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Change your Skype password November 10, 2016

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Tech tips.
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I flew home from the ATA Conference on Monday and landed at 11:20 PM. Once I arrived at home I unpacked, put my suitcases away, showered and face-planted into bed. I woke up the next morning to 16 messages on Skype and a missed call in Skype and on my cell phone. I had been hacked, and all of my contacts were sent a link to a “baidu.com.” Luckily most of my contacts are savvy enough not to click on a link from me without any introductory text (hence the 16 messages asking if it was legit from me), but I had to go to https://web.skype.com to manually delete the message for every contact. Needless to say it was a pain.

My friend and colleague Roland Grefer was the one who had been trying to call me. In addition to being a great translator he is also a very competent IT support guy. He did a little research and discovered the following:

From what I’ve found, about a month ago, Microsoft started to merge their Live/Hotmail/Outlook/MSN/Xbox account systems into a new “Universality” account management system.

However, in the process, even if your Skype account was already linked to one of the above email accounts, they left Skype also accessible via the old Skype user name and password combination.

If the password for either account was one that was compromised in any of the recent hacks, the Bad Guys (TM) were then able to use the respective account to gain access to Skype and send spam etc. from the affected user’s Skype account.

But since M$ hadn’t made users aware of the parallel existence of the “new” and “old” Skype user name and password combos, they weren’t even aware of this “feature” as the culprit.

Once they logged into their account, and checked their “Activity” at

https://account.live.com/Activity

virtually all of them found successful logins from Asia or South America around the time the incident happened.

A sad state of affairs,
Roland

So change your Skype password or you too will be spamming your Skype contacts. And thanks to Roland for researching this!

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Comments»

1. Caroline - November 10, 2016

Thanks for sharing this tip with us!

2. Ellen Hawley - November 11, 2016

Thanks for the heads-up.


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