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Wireless Utopia

The journey towards a free wireless world.

Skype Cracked

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Chinese have pulled off another reverse engineering feat. They have cracked the skype protocol. Skype uses a propreitary version of SIP protocol which can enables it to bypass Firewalls and more importantly NAT. A company in China has come up with a thier own Skype client which can be used as ordinary host nodes and connect with any other Skype clients. It does not support the supernode feature yet (which routes calls from other skype hosts). The code is not public yet.

It was only a matter of time. Skype by far is the most popular VoIP service today. There are around 5 Million users of Skype. It generated a lot of attention after the ebay buyout and even earned some patent infringement suits. The telcos' love to hate it. The Chinese goverment has gone a step ahead and banned the use of Skype. Nothing would please them more to come up with their own clone.

Skype has grown because of the Walled Garden approach it has followed till now. Now the walled garden itself is under threat. It would be nice to see an open version of the Skype protocol and how Skype responds to it.

PS: A good technical description of the Skype protocol (PDF).

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posted by Rajiv, 5:19 AM

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