By Kevin Parrish
Simple questions allowed hackers to access a Skype account over six times in one day. Plus, Skype will be coming to Outlook in the coming weeks, and a preview version of Video Messaging has arrived for the desktop.
Self-proclaimed security researcher/hacker "Dylan, also known as @TibitXimer on Twitter, told Business Insider that his Skype account was hijacked six times in one day. He said the hackers were able to break into his account because they knew the answers to a few basic, easy-to-answer questions that allows users to reset their account.
According to the report, Dylan contacted Skype to reset his account after it was initially hijacked. To process the request, customer service required him to name three to five Skype contacts, the email address associated with the account, and his first and/or last name. That's it. Anyone loaded with that information, he said, can call Skype support and gain full control of the account.
After the Skype account was hijacked for the sixth time on Saturday, Dylan jumped on the Skype help forum and Twitter to complain. "My Skype was given away to over 6 people in one day due to them just knowing my email, name, and 5 contacts on my account," he said via Twitter.
He wasn't the only one complaining. Several other people responded with similar complains. "My account was hijacked and they changed/added email. Can't reset password because the token expires. Support's terrible," said one Skype customer on Twitter.
Skype has reportedly fixed Dylan's account, but currently it's unclear if Skype plans to change its support policies to make it more difficult to reset a Skype account.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday Skype said that a preview version for Outlook.com will be made available in the United States in the coming weeks, adding audio and video calling to every Outlook.com inbox. Like Google Voice for Gmail, this new in-browser calling feature will require a one-time download of a plugin for the most recent versions of Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. After that, users simply connect Skype to Outlook.com using a Microsoft account.
"Even with the best email service, sometimes text isn’t enough," said Skype's Simon Longbottom in a blog. "We all face those situations where it’s just easier to jump on a call to talk something through. Sometimes that quick call can accomplish more than a long email reply. That’s why we are bringing Skype audio and video calling to your Outlook.com inbox. Now, with Skype for Outlook.com, you can choose the right medium for your message."
In addition to Outlook.com integration, Skype's Yasmin Khan reports that a preview of Skype Video Messaging for the Windows desktop client is now available for Windows 7 and above. This feature allows users to record and send a video message even when the recipient is unavailable. The desktop preview joins other platform previews including Mac, iOS and Android, as linked below:
Skype Beta for Windows Desktop (7 and above)
Skype for Mac
Skype for iPhone
Skype for iPad
Skype for Android
Currently Skype for Windows 8 and Skype for Windows Phone can receive and view Video Messages, but they cannot record and send Video Messages at this time, Khan said. This feature will be coming to these two platforms "soon".
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