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Sahil Badani
Sahil Badani • Jan 23, 2016

Skype To Keep IP Hidden From Non-Contacts - Privacy Onus Now On Users

American multinational technology giant Microsoft has floated an update in its desktop Skype client that should make the 300 million active users of the video conferencing application a little safer from distributed denial of service, or DDoS attacks. How? It will make IP addresses of users hidden by default.


For long, Skype has provided sensitive Internet Protocol information, explicitly allowing users on the network to infer which IP address is being used by an account. While this might seem too technical for any practical harm, there has been an elaborate history of abuse in gaming communities. Last year, for example, a number of professional Dota 2 games were disrupted due to DDoS attacks where players were forcibly disconnected from active networks.

To make matters worse, a plethora of online services provide instant IP address lookups that have worked effectively against the social network that is often used for coordinating games and in-team communication, making it vulnerable to even fellow gamers with spontaneous malicious outbursts.

Against such oddities, Skype did try somewhat to combat the easy information leakage. It introduced an option for users to hide their IP address from all non-contacts. Here, all traffic between non-contacts would be received by Microsoft’s servers and hence, IP addresses would not be disclosed.

In what is seen as an extension to this security aid, the option is now on by default.

It is also important to know that the people in your contacts, or your “friends”, still have access to your IP address; but this update is quite a bargain if you are judicious enough to choose who stays in yours lists and who does not.

Source: Blogs | ArsTechnica

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