Hiding Secret Messages in Skype (and ESD mats for lifehacking…?)

Polish researchers have devised a way to hide messages in the 70-byte packets Skype uses to represent silences during a call.

In light of Skype’s other uses — as a backdoor into your computer, as a way for anyone to find out your IP address, and now as a way for anyone with access to the Microsoft datacenter to eavesdrop on your calls — this one actually seems like a benefit for the user.

Also, a $2 DIY Van de Graaf: http://elabz.com/two-dollar-van-de-graaff/

Maybe I could justify building one for lifehacking purposes: it turns out ESD grounding is good for sleep? http://www.bulletproofexec.com/earthing/


“A group of researchers from the Institute of Telecommunications of the Warsaw University of Technology have devised a way to send and receive messages hidden in the data packets used to represent silences during a Skype call.

After learning that Skype transmits voice data in 130-byte packets and the silences in 70-byte packets, they came upon the idea of using the latter to conceal the sending and receiving of additional messages, Trusted Third Party reports (via Google Translate).

In order to do that, they created SkypeHide (or SkyDe), a piece of software that hijacks some of the “silence” packets and then embeds the encrypted messages into them. On the receiving computer, the same software extracts it and decrypts it.

The hidden messages can consist of text, audio or video, and can be transmitted at a rate of almost 1 kilobit per second. And, according to Mazurczyk, the secret data is indistinguishable from silence-period traffic.”

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