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Skype’s Security Breach – November 14, 2012

Skype Security BreachAre you using Skype for the delivery of healthcare services? Skype admitted to a security breach on November 14, 2012. The Skype statement about being hacked is pasted below for your convenience:

 Reported Security Issue – RESOLVED

By Leonas Sendrauskas on November 14, 2012.

[UPDATE:14/11/2012@15:28GMT]

Early this morning we were notified of user concerns surrounding the security of the password reset feature on our website. This issue affected some users where multiple Skype accounts were registered to the same email address. We suspended the password reset feature temporarily this morning as a precaution and have made updates to the password reset process today so that it is now working properly. We are reaching out to a small number of users who may have been impacted to assist as necessary. Skype is committed to providing a safe and secure communications experience to our users and we apologize for the inconvenience.

Skype disabled its password reset function after Russian hackers reported the hack in their forums. A more detailed explanation was given by Rick Ferguson, director of security research & communication at Trend Micro, who explained how easy it was to hack into someone’s Skype account: “In essence the procedure is so simple it could be carried out by even the most inexperienced of computer users. […] This would lock the victim out of their Skype account and allow the hacker to receive and respond to all messages destined for that victim until further notice. I tested the vulnerability and the entire process took only a matter of minutes.” We here at the TeleMental Health Institute have been warning of Skype’s problems for several years. Search the blog you are now reading for several more posts about Skype and HIPAA by typing either one of those two keywords in the search box you see to the upper right. For a FREE list of over 50 HIPAA compliant video platforms, see our list here, and feel free to suggest others below. For more detailed information tailored to mental health:

  1.  Listen to our Skype-related webinar courses offering 1 CE,
  2. Review our list of two legal/ethical courses, also available online, or
  3. If you are serious about eexpanding your practice online, consider getting your Certificate in TeleMental Health through our Certificate Training Program.
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Poonam Sharma, Ph.D.

Dr. Sharma is a licensed psychologist in private practice in San Antonio Texas. She earned her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1994. In her clinical practice, she provides psychotherapy for adults and specialize in working with people dealing with health issues, such as infertility, traumatic injury, and stress. She is the author of Strong Women, Strong Love: The Missing Manual for the Modern Marriage (StrongWomenStrongLove.com). Her coaching work focuses on helping professional women wanting to learn how to build a great marriage, despite the challenges of modern society. She loves making the tools and knowledge of her field highly accessible to anyone who is hoping to better their life in any way.


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