Cyber attack suspected behind sudden Skype outage

Skype services stopped working on June 19th

Image of Skype DDoS attack

If you’ve been on the Internet these last couple of days, you most likely noticed all the buzz about the major Skype outages that reportedly started on June 19th and are continuing today [1]. Institutions, companies and home users who are accustomed to using this popular telecommunication service daily were quick to notice the interferences. The issue reports reveal that people couldn’t send or receive any messages or make calls, as well as experienced long delays when adding new entries to their contact list [2]. Apart from that, the software itself seemed to be operating as usual.

Developers blame connectivity issues

Microsoft officially confirmed that its team is working on resolving this issue and have already indicated connectivity malfunctions as the initial cause of the problem. Nevertheless, what exactly has triggered these connection failures remains a mystery. It is only natural that with every unanswered question come all kinds of speculations.

DDoS attack suspicions

On online forums, users are seriously considering a DDoS attack option. The cyber community has been going through rough times lately, with major data leaks and large-scale ransomware attacks affecting more and more PC users every day, so people no longer seem surprised to hear major companies falling victims of cyber attacks as well.

Could a Denial of Service (DoS) attack [3] be the real reason Skype went down? It is highly possible. Some ardent investigators of this incident have already found some clues that might confirm this theory. The suspicions circle around a Twitter post sent from a profile called CyberTeam which infobox reads “Mass DDoS Attacker.” The tweet is brief: “Skype down by CyberTeam Hello World!!” but it might just be enough to get the researchers on the right track. It does not take a lot of digging up to notice the similarities between strange Skype behavior and typical features of DoSS-affected services:

  • The attack has been carried out against high-profile vendor. The attackers typically choose larger companies as their targets as such attacks can have a more significant impact.
  • The attack was short-term. Microsoft is already recovering Skype services, and all the application functions are returning to normal. Such waves of attack may be just an evil prank, but more commonly they are meant to threaten or blackmail the company in question.
  • The attack affected service performance. The service users were unable to use the application properly which caused millions to experience inconveniences.

Even if the DDoS attack claims are not confirmed, these events should work as a reminder that cyber attacks are becoming more common and more destructive every day. They may disrupt the operation of any company, doesn’t matter big or small, so everyone should take actions to reduce the risks.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

Julie Splinters is the News Editor of 2-spyware. Her bachelor was English Philology.

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