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I would like to know if it is possible for software to eavesdrop on my skype conversations. Key loggers needs to be installed on my computer, and I know that the my company does not have any software on my computer that I am not aware of (I installed the software myself).

I know the other computer has Kaseya on. Kaseya monitors windows updates and other things.

Would Kaseya or any other software on the recipient's pc be able to eavesdrop on our skype conversation (my messages) without letting the user know?

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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I just saw an article in the US about this the other day, actually, so I thought I'd chime in.

There are several parts to this question, so I'll address all of them.

Software on your computer

Yes - always. Any software on your computer programmed to specifically target Skype can do just that. Any means of DLL injection, hooking, etc. techniques can be applied to phish the data before it ever touches the encryption process. This, however, can be assumed for any software on your computer, not just Skype.

Software outside the local computer (i.e. on the network or out in the open internet)

Yes and no. There always runs a risk of any sort of interception of network data - that is what encryption is for. As Eroen stated (and the last I heard), Skype uses AES which is a tried-and-tested encryption algorithm that, if implemented correctly, can take years to crack through cryptanalysis. That being said, there is always a chance of a major breach in security and your data getting compromised (in a very slim off-chance). Along with the fact that this can happen to any software transmitting data over the internet, there is usually nothing you can do to prevent this rare event from happening.

As far as authoritative (government) agencies tapping information

Seeing as how this has been a hot and controversial topic worldwide, I'll speak in the general sense as well as in the context of the USA.

As of right now, video and audio calls cannot be tapped by an agency. This is due to both cyber-regulations as well as the fact that Skype is P2P (peer-to-peer) when it comes to calls. Text, however, is a different story of course.

The fact that calls are P2P suggests this is probably how it is everywhere unless there is something intercepting that particular call data between caller A and caller B. Even more, calls are encrypted, so there is an added layer of security.

Here is a link that explains a little more about what is and isn't encrypted in day-to-day Skype conversations.

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Skype doesn't specify how they apply their encryption (other than it being AES), so there is no reason to assume it is more secure than letter substitutions. Furthermore, they are known to decrypt data on their servers (no end to end encryption) if governments ask for it.

Any software installed at either client computer can in theory listen in on your conversations, although I've never heard of this "Kaseya".

However, I would be far more vary of hidden microphones at my desk than of sophisticated software attacks. Also remember that common keyboards and monitors (both crt and lcd) can be wirelessly eavesdropped from several meters away with low-cost equipment.

I you really need to keep something secret, you should use some peer-reviewed cryptographic software (gnupg is commonly used) with large keys encrypted with high-entropy passphrases, and make sure decrypted text or data is never stored on permanent media.

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This is the company I work for. Kaseya doesn't seem to be the type of software that was made to decrypt messages. I doubt my company would want to eavesdrop using microphones. Thanks for suggestion on gnupg. –  Nightwolf Feb 1 '12 at 6:52
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I know that voice calls are encrypted. As for instant messages - it is rather not relevant whether they are travelling the network encrypted or unencrypted, because either way they are stored in your hard disc UNencrypted. You can even open it up in a notepad an see plaintext messages between random symbols, which probably are indicating time and other data of the messages. Not only that - Skype stores deleted messages as well.
There are some programs which allow to read IM history without Skype and it is fairly easy for companies to get access to the Skype logs without your consent or additional software.

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Hopefully one would not have access to your harddrive freely; I'll stick to my encrypted messages over the network. –  Qix Dec 27 '12 at 2:56
    
It may be not the case for this question, because presumably the author has full control of his computer and one owns it. However, it takes one only to give physical access or join an Active Directory (company's Windows network) in order to make this possible. –  Ernestas Dec 27 '12 at 11:01
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All Skype-to-Skype voice, video, and instant message conversations are encrypted. This protects you from potential eavesdropping by malicious users.

That should mean that without a third party seeing the screen, the only way is to use a keylogger.

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All because something is encrypted, it doesn't mean that it cannot be read. Given access to your network card (through tools like wireshark) and X amount of time to decrypt the data, it is possible to decrypt data. Encryption makes it harder, not impossible. –  Stuart Blackler Jan 31 '12 at 12:30
    
@StuartBlackler: Thanks for comment. This is the company I work for and I seriously doubt their hacking skills. If a software does not allow them to do it in a simple manner the software is easily used for malicious intent then I doubt they will use it. –  Nightwolf Feb 1 '12 at 6:44
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