Skype ‘Supernodes’ Re-engineering may facilitate wiretapping

By Wednesday, July 18, 2012 0 , , Permalink 0

Skype’s technology is peer to peer VoIP but, the technology used is not purely p2p. It is a semi-distributed p2p network where there are these ‘supernodes’ that are used to connect the two end parties. The technology automatically turns some users into ‘supernodes’.

A 2010 outage in Skype’s network was attributed to a software update that didn’t reach all the ‘supernodes’. Microsoft believes that relocating these ‘supernodes’ into its own secure data centres by using dedicated Linux servers would be the ideal way of preventing such outages from happening again.

Now what are the repercussions? Well, the voice calls will pass through servers that will be under Microsoft’s control thus allowing for easy monitoring. Microsoft will be owning the keys used for encryption and thus these man-in-the-middle agents (servers) can be easily be used to decrypt the data if need be. This effectively means that your Skype calls may not be secure anymore when it comes to eavesdropping and your privacy may be at risk.