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Skype Suffers Outage Amid Claims of Cyber-Attack

Microsoft has confirmed that it is dealing with an ongoing Skype outage with the communications app suffering connectivity issues.

Whilst the tech giant has yet to confirm what has caused the problem, some have claimed it was the result of a cyber-attack.

The failure started on Monday June 21 with Microsoft making the issue public on Twitter and its blog:

“Hello, we are aware of an incident where users will either lose connectivity to the application or may be unable to send or receive messages. Some users will be unable to see a black bar that indicates them that a group call is ongoing, and longer delays in adding users to their buddy list”, the firm explained.

Subsequent updates from Microsoft yesterday read:

[June 20, 14:00 GMT] “We're seeing improvements and users also signal us they can use Skype. However, there are still users that may experience the issue - we're working on that!

[June 20, 20:00] “We have made some configuration corrections and mitigated the impact. We are continuing to monitor and we will post an update when the issue is fully resolved.”

Suspicions have been raised that the outage was caused by some form of attack, DDoS being the most likely, speculations fueled by a Tweet emanating from the Twitter profile of “Mass Ddos Attacker” CyberTeam, who wrote:

[June 19] “Skype down by CyberTeam
Hello World!!”

Again, whilst this is yet to be confirmed, if indeed the source of the outage was DDoS, it is yet another example of the impact these attacks can cause.

“The bottom line is that DDoS attacks can take virtually any company offline – a reality that any business must be prepared to defend against,” said Stephanie Weagle, VP, Corero Network Security. “It isn’t just the giant attacks that organizations need to worry about. Small, sub-saturating attacks, which most IT and network security wouldn’t even recognize as a DDoS attack are more common than not. In fact, the majority of DDoS attacks are less than five minutes in duration and under 1 Gbps – these shorter attacks typically evade detection by most legacy and homegrown DDoS mitigation solutions.”

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