Hackers Can Silently Grab Your IP Through Skype. Microsoft Is In No Rush to Fix It

A security researcher has found it’s possible to reveal a Skype app user’s IP address without the target needing to even click a link. Microsoft said the vulnerability does not need immediate attention.
The IP-grabbing vulnerability in action. Image: Jason Koebler
The IP-grabbing vulnerability in action. Image: Jason Koebl

Hackers are able to grab a target’s IP address, potentially revealing their general physical location, by simply sending a link over the Skype mobile app. The target does not need to click the link or otherwise interact with the hacker beyond opening the message, according to a security researcher who demonstrated the issue and successfully discovered my IP address by using it.

Yossi, the independent security researcher who uncovered the vulnerability, reported the issue to Microsoft earlier this month, according to Yossi and a cache of emails and bug reports he shared with 404 Media. In those emails Microsoft said the issue does not require immediate servicing, and gave no indication that it plans to fix the security hole. Only after 404 Media contacted Microsoft for comment did the company say it would patch the issue in an upcoming update.

The attack could pose a serious risk to activists, political dissidents, journalists, those targeted by cybercriminals, and many more people. At minimum, an IP address can show what area of a city someone is in. An IP address can be even more revealing in a less densely populated area, because there are fewer people who could be associated with it.