Daily VoIP News Digest
Saturday 12th of September 2009

Virus allows listening in to VoIP calls


by Alan Harten
September 8, 2009

Those who are aware of spyware know that the viruses are capable of allowing hackers to spy on every movement or key typed while on their personal computers.

In a twist to the equation, now both law enforcement officials and hackers have access to a new tool, a virus that can sit in on phone conversations online through VoIP and listen to every word as well.

The virus is a Trojan that has been found sneaking around the computers of those who use the Skype service to make VoIP calls.

Skype is a VoIP company that provides low cost and sometimes free phone calls to be made between two computers, or in some cases a phone and a computer.

Although there are over 480 million Skype users, analysts do not expect most of them to see the new virus or suffer from its tendency to eaves drop because it is more of a spy technique than malicious software.

There is no telling what legal enforcement may use the new virus for however, as outside of the US and Europe court orders may not be needed in order to listen in on VoIP calls.

Skype users may not be the only ones ‘spied’ on in the future, as the virus does not get in through a hole in the service, but instead by tapping into the audio processing sector of Windows operating system.

Symantec Corp stated that from this location it gathers the audio data from Skype before it is encrypted and set over the internet.

Director of Symantec Security Response, Kevin Haley, stated that the new virus is more intriguing than it is a threat because it is clearly an espionage tool, although what hackers may be listening into is a mystery.




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