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Simple text message wipes out Skype

Barry Collins
3 Jun 2015
Skype
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Now Skype suffers from bug that can crash software with an eight-character text message

Skype is suffering from a nasty bug that makes the app crash repeatedly if it sends or receives a certain message. And unlike a similar bug that crippled the Messages app on iPhones last week, the string of characters that wipe out Skype could conceivably be sent innocently. 

The message in question is a string of characters used at the beginning of a web address with an extra character placed immediately afterwards. Expert Reviews isn't publishing the message to prevent it from being used maliciously.

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Users who send that message from the Windows desktop version of Skype will reportedly crash their applications, and face error messages every time they try and re-open it. Users who receive that message in the Windows desktop, iOS and Android versions of the app will also be affected. The Mac and Windows Store versions of the app are impervious to the bug.  

As the message lingers in the chat history of the Skype account, even uninstalling and reinstalling the app won't fix the bug. Reports suggest the only way to overcome the bug on Windows is to ask the sender to delete the harmful message and then install an older version of Skype. That's not an option on Android or iOS, where only the latest versions of apps are available to download from the respective app stores. 

Skype is apparently aware of the bug and working on a fix. There are several reports of people suffering from the bug on the Skype community forums, although moderators appear to be removing threads mentioning the precise nature of the bug, perhaps in a vain bid to prevent it from spreading. 

The Skype bug arrives just a week after a malicious text message was found to crash Apple's iPhones, although in that instance the message was using a combination of both Roman and Cyrillic characters that had absolutely no chance of being used for anything other than malicious purposes. 

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