These 8 Characters can Crash Any Skype App and Force You to Re-Install

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Just one week after iPhone and iPad users were plagued with the simple text message that can crash any iPhone and cause it to reboot, now a similar flaw has been revealed in Skype, the popular video chat and messaging application.

Yes, the Microsoft-owned messaging service, Skype, has been plagued by an annoying bug that can crash nearly every version of the Skype client to date, both on desktop and mobile, with a simple eight character message, further causing the application to cease opening.

The simple flaw causes the application, on any device, to crash and force users to re-install the application, just to get the application open again. To crash any Skype users client, just send ‘http://:‘ and it will crash nearly any Skype app. The string of eight characters can crash Skype running on Windows, Android and the iOS operating system, according to the Skype forum.

However, the Skype application for Mac and Windows 8.1 remain unaffected by the bug.

The Skype bug was first reported by a user known under their online alias, Giperion, who first identified that sending http://: can crash any Skype client endlessly, crashing both the sender and receivers Skype application.

To verify the bizarre flaw in the application, a Skype spokesperson reached out, confirming the bug does exist and the company is “aware of the problem and are working to provide a resolution.”

The Skype crash bug is far more severe than the previous iOS text message crash loop as there is no workaround, such as sending a message or opening Siri. The entire Skype application is locked out and has to be uninstalled from the device, and reset with a clean install.

Even deleting your chat history won’t clear you of the problem as Skype syncs chat data from the cloud every time you open the application. Thus, loading the dreaded eight characters that will crash your Skype client.

Currently, the only workaround the to Skype crash bug, other than asking the sender to delete the message, is to install and older version of Skype, which doesn’t contain the annoying flaw. Resist installing newer versions of the Skype app til Microsoft issues a full patch for the Skype bug.

We can only hope Skype will issue a patch faster than Apple, who we’re still waiting on.

However, to mitigate the issue, Microsoft has started filtering out messages on the sever with the eight character crash bug, yet numerous users are still reporting the crash bug to be active.

Update: Microsoft has issued a patch to the Skype flaw that was found crashing clients. To get the latest version, head over to skype.com/download and download the latest version. For iOS and Android, head over to the App or Google Play Store and install Skype’s latest update.

[Photo via Ryan Fanshaw/Flickr [CC BY 2.0]]

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Brandon Stosh is the founder and CEO of www.freedomhacker.net. Stosh is a cyber security researcher and professional consultant who strives to provide reliable news on cyber-security based topics.

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