Has the Skype Protocol Been Cracked?

By Ryan Naraine  |  Posted 2006-07-14 Print this article Print

The blogosphere is buzzing with the claim that a group of Chinese researchers has reverse-engineered the Skype protocol, providing a third-party VOIP alternative.

A claim that a group of researchers in China has successfully cracked the Skype protocol has set the blogosphere alight, but the company says there is no evidence that the software has been reverse-engineered.

"We have no evidence to suggest that this is true. Even if it was possible to do this, the software code would lack the feature set and reliability of Skype," the company, headquartered in Luxembourg, said in a statement sent to eWEEK.

According to Charlie Paglee, CEO of VOIP (voice-over-IP) startup Vozin Communications, in Fremont, Calif., engineers at a small research outfit in China have cracked Skype's proprietary protocol to create a third-party application capable of connecting to Skype's 100 million users.

Paglee announced the news on his blog on July 14 and posted screenshots of Skype connecting directly to a rudimentary application. Paglee, who tested the connection during two voice calls with the Chinese group, noted that his IP address was "100 percent correct" on the third-party software.

"The first time we talked there was a noticeable echo on my end. The second time the voice quality was good ol' Skype crystal clear. At present they only support placing Skype peer-to-peer phone calls and they have not yet implemented presence," Paglee said.

Unpatched installations of Skype are tempting malware targets. Click here to read more.

He declined to name the research group, which is backed by venture capital funding. "They have plans to add presence, instant messaging, and a host of other features. Their end goal is to create a client 100 percent compatible with Skype," Paglee said.

"They are working night and day on a demo which they hope to launch before the end of August," he added.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Has the Skype Protocol Been Cracked?


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