Skype Rushes Update to Fix HTTP Crash Bug
Sending a specific eight-character string causes the Skype client to crash, prompting Microsoft's developers to push out a fix in less than a day.Microsoft issued an emergency patch on June 3, acknowledging reports that a simple eight-character string could crash the program on certain platforms. On June 2, Skype users on the product's community forums reported that sending a simple string—http://:—could crash the Skype client on Windows and Android platforms. The issue resulted from the improper handling of a malformed Web address, according to one user. When the Skype client attempts to process the message, the act crashes the program, users reported. "It looks like the program attempts to read from protected memory space and the Windows kernel stops it," user "PORT_1337" stated. The crash bug appears quite similar to an issue that affected Apple's own instant messaging application, Messages. On May 27, security researchers discovered that a text message combining English and Arabic text in a Unicode-encoded message could crash iOS devices and cause problems on Mac OS X systems. Many users sent the crash bug as a prank to their friends, resulting in more than a million messages sent to users over the course of a day.
In the most recent case, Skype users informed Microsoft of the crash issue, which reportedly caused the messaging and voice-over-IP application to shut down. Because restarting the program merely reloaded the problematic message, Skype would continue to crash until the user who sent the message deleted it.