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jcr1
27-01-2008, 03:57 PM
Does anyone know anything about these?

http://www.three.co.uk/personal/products_services_/skype_phone.omp

My son sent me the link, with the comment; "interesting".

pctek
27-01-2008, 05:08 PM
Skype
NZ Herald Monday September 03, 2007 By Paul Henry

As one of the pioneers in the advent of internet telephony, has risen in popularity over the last few years.

Opening Pandora's Box

- Skype includes the ability to send and receive files similar to other peer-to-peer (P2P) programs and services.

- Because the file transfers are over a proprietary encrypted channel (similar to HTTPS) the inbound file transfers can effectively bypass security mechanisms in the same way P2P networks do.

- In this manner, confidential data could potentially be sent out over a Skype encrypted channel.

Dousing Firewalls

Yet another disturbing aspect of Skype is its ability to tunnel though firewalls without the user ever having to write a single line of code.

Some products have begun adopting the use of Skype for its firewall-piercing capability, such as the Timbuktu Pro operating system which uses a Skype tunnel via the Skype API to automatically navigate through firewalls and routers to provide remote access and control to a workstation or home PC.

The tunnel is created without the need for an active Skype call.

To the hacker, this convenience also creates a myriad of opportunities for abuse. Botnets are a collection of compromised zombie computers running malicious programs under a common command and control infrastructure.

- Its firewall piercing capability

- With more than 5,000,000 Skype users typically on line at any one time, the traffic from a botnet herder to the individual zombie computer he/she controls via Skype will simply blend in with the other "normal" internet traffic

Skype-related Malware

Over the past six months, two different worms/Trojans associated with Skype have emerged and been documented.

- A variant of the MyTob Trojan (AKA FanBot) disguised as a copy of Skype version 1.4 was being distributed via spam email across the internet. Any email recipient who clicked on the attachment was quickly compromised.

- A Skype-specific Trojan, Warezov, appears as a chat message with the text "Check up this". If clicked by the user, additional malware is downloaded to the PC, installing a keylogger and sending the same message to each person in the user's Skype address book.

Skype Supernode

Skype's official End-User Licence Agreement (EULA) no longer mentions supernodes, but now says merely:

"4.1 Permission to utilise your computer. In order to receive the benefits provided by the Skype Software, you hereby grant permission for the Skype Software to utilise the processor and bandwidth of your computer for the limited purpose of facilitating the communication between Skype Software users. "


When a computer goes into supernode mode, Skype opens up a great number of network connections over TCP (Transmission Control Protocol, part of the Internet Protocol suite). In a posting on the Skype user forum bulletin board, a user describes how his Linksys router was overwhelmed by over 1,500 TCP connections being opened in supernode mode.

So even though the bandwidth needed is quite small, the effect is that internet access grinds to a halt with DNS and web timeouts.


US-based web security blogger Paul Henry (MCP+I, MCSE, CCSA, CCSE, CFSA, CFSO, CISSP, CISM, CISA, ISSAP, CIFI)is Vice President of Technology, Secure Computing.

Alternatives:

http://www.jajah.com/

JAJAH is made for people who ...

* want to call anyone, anywhere in the world at anytime for free, or at super-low rates
* like to use their existing phone (mobile or landline) to make their calls
* don't want to be tied to their computer via a headset



And theres VOIP here now anyway.

Nomad
27-01-2008, 05:44 PM
I have not got the phone yet .. I use skype occasionally .. and its free, I can chat with people around the world that I have met in person before ....

Its basically like MSN Messenger or Yahoo Messenger with the microphone and headset and its free.

The phone I *believe* what it does it get a connection via the internet and this can be via the larger countries/cities of free wireless hotspot and you login with your username and password and you can chat with other members for free. Like on the computer you can put money on your account and call any telephone number and chat .. if they don't have a skype account or if you just want to call someone's landline or someone's cellphone while they are outside.

May be useful if you use it a lot say while on travel ... overseas with a lot of free wireless hotspots.

I believe you can get something with MSN Messenger, I seen the ones for home but not yet with wifi support but won't be surprised.....

I don't use the phone much .. so I can just purchase a calling card via my travels or pop into a internet cafe and fire off an email .. Sometimes its good not to have that much stuff ... in your holidays.

ie., if you don't need the phone you may not get a landline or even a cellphone and just use a skype phone. This phone will get access to the router wireless or wired depending on the phone and its a phone via your broadband internet. Dialup would work but its probably too slow for a decent conversation. Equally if you are at home only usage .. just get some speakers and microphone or a headset and chat away .. much cheaper than the skype phone, the phone is just a bit more convenient.

Nomad
27-01-2008, 05:51 PM
Seen in NZ purchase your own without these silly plans for like $500-600. One can just create their own acount and add money or just call skype members for free.

jcr1
27-01-2008, 07:10 PM
Thanks for that pctek. You went to a lot of trouble with that reply. Certainly something to be aware of.
I've actually tried Jajah and found it quite good.
The only reason I looked at this skype product was; I thought it might be useful when I travel overseas (which I seem to do each winter now).
But, as you alluded to, Nomad, when travelling we don't really want to be bothered with too much stuff - there are internet cafes etc, cameras are enough to carry around.