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article imageMicrosoft races to patch crippling Skype bug

By James Walker     Jun 3, 2015 in Technology
Microsoft has rushed out an update to Skype on several major platforms after a crippling bug was discovered and widely reported yesterday. Similarly to an issue that recently affected iPhones, Skype would crash when a certain message was received.
Apple's issue involved a user receiving a very specific string of Arabic characters in the messaging app and as such was unlikely to impact the average user. The Skype bug involves a short string of English text that could actually affect consumers though, making it a more serious affair.
The text in question is "http://:", without the quotes. When a user sends it, Skype will crash. If the user receives it as a message, Skype will crash continually every time that it starts up, rendering it unusable.
Because the offending message is the start of a website address with an added colon, it is possible that a clumsy keyboard user could inadvertently send this to somebody when meaning to send a link, crippling both peoples' Skype clients. The Verge reports the sender of the message has to start Skype again and delete the message or the receiver must downgrade to Skype 6.
Otherwise, Skype will download the message every time that it starts up and promptly crash again. On mobile platforms the app will simply close while Windows will show the "Skype has stopped working" dialog.
The bug affects Windows, Android and iOS but not Skype on Mac. Microsoft quickly acknowledged the presence of the bug as it became widely reported online and has now issued an update for all affected platforms.
A spokesperson told VentureBeat, who first reported on the issue, "We are aware of a Skype issue and have rolled out updates for all impacted products." You would be well advised to go ahead and force the Windows client and any Skype apps that you use to check for updates if they hasn't updated already and you are a regular Skype user.
More about Microsoft, Skype, Bug, Glitch, Update
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