? Skype has turned into a sad likeness ... and a product that allows you to get full access to your system? Is there any hope?

    Sorry, boiling! Today’s repeated incident of downloading 500+ MB of parasitic traffic in 15–20 minutes, which I did not order, was the last point when I seriously thought about demolishing the messenger, which I used almost from the very beginning of its creation and refuse to use it further. My entire limit of mobile LTE Internet access to 1 GB per day was successfully eaten by Skype, the operator limited the speed to 300 Kbps and you need to wait until the package is updated (you can’t pay for and reorder before the deadline, the 21st century is not in the yard! ). But the reason for my anger is not in this, but in the fact that I am paranoid in the field of security. Skype is now trying to infect me Mac? Track my data? Or are these tricks of hackers who try to hack me through Skype? But in the beginning, before I reveal the facts, I want to remember the history of this lawlessness.

    A few years ago, I switched to a Mac, and in turn, a few years ago, Skype switched to Microsoft. What irony! Why, why not Skype was bought by Apple? Or any other company that respects its customers and at least does not make it worse! I'm not saying that it would be nice to do better in general, especially against the background of competition with other messengers, such as Telegram, which is also something to criticize, but my biggest problem there is - I can not copy the text beyond the scrollbar, also conveniently, as in Skype, it is necessary to copy in parts.

    My opinion is that Microsoft can hardly do anything normally from what comes up with new things; this also applies to their own products, not just purchased ones. A good example is the server Windows licensing system, I still remember how they changed the terms of the SPLA program under the Windows server licenses that we had to use. They didn’t come up with anything better than simply revoking the standard license types, raising prices and entering licenses “for the processor”, probably with the aim of increasing revenue. And what do you think happened? That's right, another tryndets! Our clients who installed them and for which they and we successfully paid Microsoft for more than 2 years under the SPLA program, licenses continued to work, somewhere on 100+ servers, with one difference, that they were not completely legal ... Microsoft, with one motion of their hands, stopped charging us for their payment, breaking the contract for them. What can I say, even the money is not able to take ... Of course, we did not decide to renegotiate any SPLA and now we send clients for licenses to partners and do not want to bear responsibility for the curvature of their program, especially the licensing fees, especially after in Ukraine they introduced“Wonderful” payment rules for “partners” (then we still worked in Ukraine), making work with them impossible and unprofitable for many, and most importantly, very “convenient”. As a result, the customers to whom we sold their software continued to use their product for free, because we were only then intermediaries and provided dedicated services in various data centers and were not responsible for the software and so on, and it’s worth trying to pay to such a wonderful "service" - not seen. However, as well as data centers that did not care about this software until Microsoft started imposing a ban on installing trial versions without a key, violating the rights of private users. But now this is not about it ... It just got sore, because I speak globally, about the general approach to business, to partners and to people.

    Microsoft, well tell me? Can you do anything normal? Why does everything that falls into your hands turn into some kind of dreary likeness ... (substitute the word yourself, I don’t like to swear, but I really want to)? In the beginning, the total lack of support for Skype in the normal form for Mac, the application simply hellishly devoured the CPU and disrupted the harmony of using the Mac entirely (bad method to destroy competitors, users would rather refuse Skype than Mac), because the battery instead of 10 hours held a maximum of 2 Then, it seems that you let go ... They finally made a more or less sane version that did not lead to a catastrophe. Message loss when using the messenger on the IPhone. Sometimes for two days problems with the lack of message delivery, synchronization, and those. support that answered nothing and in general it is not clear where it was and how it worked.it completely paralyzed us .

    In 2018, someone apparently ate some bad mushrooms, as it was made just sucks.

    The usual Skype and me, which was originally built as a distributed solution, when messages and communications were carried out directly between users, since 2011 (the moment of acquiring Skype for $ 8.5 billion ) began to be serviced exclusively through Microsoft servers, recording users' messages, and in 2018, at the same time, he lost a number of useful functions, let's meet them with a minute of silence:

    • Network status "Out of place" and "Offline"
    • Compact browsing mode (i.e., split the Skype interface into two windows)
    • Effective search with partial match words in chat rooms
    • Exclude user from group call
    • Clear all history
    • Use contact lists
    • Adjust the webcam (for example, specify the contrast)
    • Ability to turn on sound notifications in active chat
    • Change font options in chat
    • Setting up various sound devices for call and talk
    • Customize sounds for calls, messages and other events.
    • Navigation chat (for example, switching to the previous month)
    • Configure hotkeys
    • Send your contacts to other people
    • Edit contact information (for example, specify a phone number)
    • Specify how long to keep chat history.
    • Disable link and file thumbnails.
    • Automatically save received files
    • Set up alerts (for example, someone is online or celebrating a birthday)
    • Increase the duration of the video message (at least one minute)
    • Take a picture of the interlocutor during a video call
    • Hide contact avatars
    • Creating moderated group chats
    • Gallery freeze frame
    • Send SMS
    • Send video messages
    • Start a call by double clicking on the contact
    • Proxy configuration
    • Display network status in the system tray
    • Skype Group Policy
    • Automatically insert the highlighted word when searching

    Perhaps missed something, correct, if suddenly something made by mistake. Later, some of them were still restored:

    • Take a picture of the interlocutor during a video call
      Added in version
    • Send SMS Messages
      Added in version
    • Send
      Video Messages Added in version
    • Display of network status in the system tray
      Added in version

    And now it is proposed to send developers wishes for the functions that you may need.

    Also, such interesting functions as:

    • When you successively clamp 3 or more buttons on the keyboard, while typing in the window, the interlocutor will see not a writing pencil, but a cat. If someone does not understand why the cat: if you have 3 buttons on the keyboard, then either you are an idiot, or the cat hangs around your keyboard, or you did it specifically to check this easter egg! So that! Cat worked in older versions even in read-only mode.
    • And when you press the buttons in a chaotic manner, you could see the hands that break the pencil into two parts. Unfortunately, the show also sawed in the latest versions of the program.
    • The same effect could be observed when three buttons, such as FGH, were pressed together.
    • You can insert arbitrary HTML-code, extending the standard functionality of Skype, but for security reasons (obviously), from versions above 5.7 and it was cut out.

    Security hole

    I, alas, faced the fact that Skype began to consume excessive traffic recently. Of course, I understood that no update for 500+ MB could be uploaded, and when I closed the messenger, the download stopped and did not restart after the restart, but after 10-12 hours I noticed the repeated situation. And the main traffic was incoming, although outgoing attended. Then I became completely restless.

    I tried to execute the following commands (just enter them in any dialog box and press Enter, the interlocutor will not see this message):

    / showplaces - see all devices that your Skype is now on, the result showed no other active versions of macWrap: 1432 / 8.32 .0.44 / SkypeX - isActive: true, Subs: 1: HttpLongPoll

    And just in case:

    / remotelogout - exit from Skype from all devices except this one.

    It's funny, but Skype is such a buggy program that sometimes the use of these commands gives “Invalid command; try again".

    The fact is that after trying to check the activity of the program on other devices, though this was not done at the time when incoming traffic was going (alas, after a restart, the situation did not happen again), any suspicious activity stopped.

    So I think now, did the attacker manage to get access to my system or not, or noticed that I was checking what Skype was doing in the system and stopped working, because there is reason to believe it is, because recently, as it turned out, an article appeared: Skype can't fix a nasty security bug:
    Researcher Stefan Kensek discovered a serious vulnerability in Microsoft Messenger that allows attackers to gain full access to the victim's operating system. The scheme works on the principle of “hijacking DLL libraries” and redirects the installer of Skype updates to malicious code, rather than to the necessary update files. When installing a new version of Skype uses a separate executive file for its own update component. It is this process that can be easily exploited for malicious purposes.

    An attacker could “hijack” the update process by loading the infected DLL into a temporary folder. A fake library impersonating a system and secure DLL file that a regular user without administrative rights (UXTheme.dll, for example) can edit. The installer first of all detects a malicious DLL and installs the code of the attackers on the victim's system. It is done.

    The researcher stresses that in Windows, you can use several methods of “hijacking DLL libraries”. He also noted that other operating systems, such as macOS and Linux, may also be subject to similar attacks. Vulnerability can be easily exploited for a variety of purposes, and in the case of a successful execution, the hacker gets access to the level of “Administrator on steroids”. Thus, he can do anything with the victim's computer.

    Microsoft found out about security vulnerabilities back in September of last year, but the Software giant decided not to fix this problem, since its treatment would require rewriting a large amount of code inside the application. Instead, Microsoft decided to delay the patch until the release of the new version of Skype, and sent all its resources to it.

    What is the status of this problem now, I, alas, do not know, but the behavior of Skype is frankly strange and turned on without observation, I no longer leave the messenger. It's a shame that Microsoft did not inform me, as a user, about this problem and I did not even suspect that I could suffer serious losses due to the use of their software.

    Drop in ratings

    Not surprisingly, the ratings began to fall, because from a conservative messenger, Microsoft engineers made some kind of youth Snapchat, which personally impresses me only by the level of degradation of its users, perhaps because I am already over 30, or because I highly value every hour of my life. Of course, this could not please those who are accustomed to the old Skype. As a result, ratings on the AppStore fell from 3.5 to 1.5 for the United States and from 3 to 1.5 for Russian users. Although the situation in the Play Market was slightly better in terms of ratings, the decline was also noticeable, despite the fact that, unlike the AppStore, it shows the overall rating, and not the average lately.

    Is there a future?

    Microsoft is a very conservative company and is not accustomed to hearing and listening to its users, but as always it gives in to newfangled trends that have flooded everything that I, fortunately, do not use - Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other sad ... because the main problem is Skype It was not at all that it was impossible to impose a mask or send a gif or a personal photo without the ability to save it, but above all in cumbersome, buggy and awkward.

    Of course, Microsoft has the right to destroy Skype, because they bought it. But I, as a user who used it from the very beginning and even paid for a subscription, have the right to express their opinion on this issue and warn Internet users against using the product without proper attention (or using as a whole), because Skype has become not only uncomfortable , but it may well be a threat, given its strange and uncontrollable behavior. And there is simply no chance of getting operational support, as one of the users said:

    “You start searching on the website ... software where to write about glitches and find the answer - write to the community! To the community ...! Awesome support, you all burn in hell ", sometimes, however, comes to the fact that the forums can be found calls for help even from pensioners:

    “Understand ... But, I'm a pensioner, I sit, read, and nothing works! I click on the contact rights. button - does not open, nothing, just do not react! I have been sitting here for more than a week now, I don’t communicate with anyone and I don’t find a way out. I have a T.viewer, there was no sadness - the devils pumped up / proverb / ".

    Perhaps, if Microsoft led a slightly different policy towards users, there would have been a smaller amount of negative and psychedelic commercials on the Internet, for one reason or another (11 million views) about their products and solutions:

    I am extremely interested in whether someone else encountered a similar problem (uncontrolled siphoning of hundreds of megabytes of traffic), what they managed to figure out and how they decided - share it in the comments, as well as your impressions of the messenger, maybe Microsoft will hear us.

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