Skype has said today that it is investigating a method that can discover a user’s last known IP address when using the VOIP service. Information on how to unearth IP addresses was posted to Pastebin several days ago, which involved downloading a modified version of Skype 5.5 and enabling debug log file creation in the Windows registry settings.
The method describes how to resolve a user’s IP address without them being on your contact list. With the patched version of Skype, you need only follow the instructions to add a Skype contact, but clicking on their generation information instead of adding them. The debug log file will then contain the public IP address of the user, which could lead to the discovery of their whereabouts thanks to WHOIS services.
Skype put out a statement via email saying that it was looking into the issue, which is apparently “faced by all peer-to-peer software companies.” They continued: “We are committed to the safety and security of our customers and we are taking measures to help protect them.” It’s not the first time that Skype has acknowledged the issue: a research paper published in October showed how the IP address could be resolved and linked to BitTorrent usage.