Skype to fix wormable bug in Mac software

A hotfix for the problem has been available since April 14

Skype plans to push out an important update to its Skype for Mac software next week that will fix a big that could be leveraged by hackers looking to build a self-copying worm program.

Details of the flaw haven't been made public, so it's unlikely that anyone is going to write a worm any time soon. But the bug is serious, according to Gordon Maddern, the Australian security researcher who reported the issue to Skype.

"The long and the short of it is that an attacker needs only to send a victim a message and they can gain remote control of the victims Mac," Maddern wrote in a blog post. "It is extremely wormable and dangerous."

According to Skype, any attack that exploited it would involve sending a maliciously crafted message to someone on the attacker's Skype Contact List. The flaw does not affect Windows or Linux users, Skype Chief Information Security Officer Adrian Asher wrote in a blog post on the issue.

Skype will push out an update to its Skype for Mac software early next week, which means that all Mac OS users should be offered the fix within days.

But security-conscious people can already download a "hotfix" that Skype released on April 14. However, to date, Skype hasn't pushed this patch out to its users. Because "there were no reports of this vulnerability being exploited in the wild, we did not prompt our users to install this update," Asher said.

Mac users who want the fix now can click on Skype --> Check for Updates, or they can download the latest update from Skype's website. Otherwise they'll be prompted to upload the fix early next week.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetAppleskypeoperating systemssoftwareapplicationspatchesInternet-based applications and servicesMac OS

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?