[NetBehaviour] Chinese Company: Skype Protocol Cracked.

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sat Jul 15 16:18:35 CEST 2006

Chinese Company: Skype Protocol Cracked.

Skype is dismissing a claim by a small team of Chinese engineers who say 
they have reverse engineered the protocol used for Skype Internet phone 

The development is being reported by Charlie Paglee, the chief executive 
officer of Vozin Communications, a voice-over-IP company that offers the 
Talqer plug-in for Google Talk, and which has operations in China and 
California. Paglee, a Mandarin speaker who has worked in China since 
1987, said he knows the people in the small company who reverse 
engineered the Skype protocol.

Paglee wrote about the reverse engineering on his blog, and said he has 
been asked not to reveal the name of the company that reverse engineered 
the protocol.

The 10-person Chinese company, which has received venture capital 
funding, is planning to release in two weeks three software components 
based on the Skype protocol that would allow developers to create 
compatible applications, Paglee said. Those components comprise voice 
and instant-messaging functions, he said.

Skype’s protocol is proprietary, so third party developers have not been 
able to build compatible applications. Some other voice-over-IP 
applications are based on the open Session Initiation Protocol standard, 
enabling third-party developers to create interoperable products.

Skype, a unit of eBay, said Friday it is aware of the claim but had "no 
evidence to suggest that this is true."

"Even if it was possible to do this, the software code would lack the 
feature set and reliability of Skype," according to a statement from 
Skype. "Moreover, no amount of reverse engineering would threaten 
Skype’s cryptographic security or integrity."


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