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stu161204
14-05-2008, 04:50 PM
I am thinking of installing Skype on my computer so I can keep it touch (More chat then voice) with the people I work with (as we seem to be working on top of each other in the last few day.)

Has any one here use Skype?

What is it like?

Is there anything I need to worry about it? (Is it a bandwidth hog?, memory hog? etc…)

I am running Win XP SP 2 on Xtra Go Large.

wratterus
14-05-2008, 04:55 PM
It does have a habit of slowing the PC down a bit while it's running, so I'd recommend stopping it from auto-running on the startup of the PC, but other than that its great. Not a bandwidth hog by any means.

vitalstatistix
14-05-2008, 04:58 PM
It got a bit of promotion on Campbell Live when he interviewed that NZ woman in China last night about the China earth quakes. JC was on a Dell desktop at the time.

wainuitech
14-05-2008, 05:12 PM
if you are only communicating with people in the same building / LAN you can try Fomine (http://www.fomine.com/) - its a LAN messenger that works great, Doesn't require the Internet as it works locally. Go to the DOWNLOAD Tab , and look for Net Send (http://www.fomine.com/net-send-gui.html) or use that link, the others they want you to pay for as they have more features.

I have it on all the PC's here, and have installed on several Office customers as well.

pctek
14-05-2008, 05:16 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.

stu161204
14-05-2008, 05:21 PM
if you are only communicating with people in the same building

Just talking to people on the other side of Auckland ;) :)

But thanks for that link wainuitech :), it may come in handy one day.