Skype Privacy Bug: Messages Sent to Wrong People

Dennis Faas's picture

A new bug in Microsoft's Skype video chat program reportedly causes instant messages to be sent to the wrong contact. It's a potentially harmful issue that could leave some of Skype's many users embarrassed, frustrated, and angry.

The problem was initially reported late last week through Skype's user forum. According to reports, the bug affects Mac, Windows, Linux, and Windows Phone versions of Skype.

Skype quickly admitted that instant messages can be sent to the wrong personal contact when the program suffers a crash in the middle of an instant messaging session.

Last Instant Message Sent to Different Contact

Under the "crash while messaging" scenario, Skype found it possible for the last instant message entered prior to the crash to be delivered to a contact who was not actually participating in the conversation.

It's a strange and potentially damaging flaw, but one that Skype management says shouldn't present a problem for most of its many users.

"Although we cannot determine precisely how many users may have been affected by this error, we believe the number is small, given the very specific circumstances under which the error occurs," the company said in a recent blog. (Source:

Skype says the issue occurs only "when a user's Skype client crashes during a Skype IM session, which may in some cases result in the last IM entered or sent prior to the crash being delivered to a different IM contact after the Skype client is rebooted or logged in as a new user." (Source:

Certain Versions of Skype Unaffected

If you're a Skype user concerned that this problem could affect you, simply check the version number of the software currently installed on your computer or other device.

"We can assure that users of Skype 5.9 for Windows, Skype 2.8 for Android and Skype 4.0 for iOS have not been affected," a Skype representative said.

Skype adds that it is currently working on a fix that should be available to all users in the next few days.

Understandably, users affected by the problem are lashing out at Skype. "I am really surprised and shocked," said one user on Skype forums. "It is really confusing." (Source:

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