Bavarian Government Gets Caught For Contracting Skype Wiretapping Initiative

Posted Sep 18, 2008

The Pirate Party is a political party that has been spreading across Europe.  The party works on reforming laws that revolve around invasion of privacy, intellectual property, copyright, and patent protection.  The Pirate Party leaked documents belonging to the government of Bavaria, Germany which revealed that they were attempting to contract out the development of a trojan in order intercept encrypted Internet communication.  This includes wiretapping Skype.

The Bavarian government was attempting to contract this software to a company called Digitask.  The first document was an inquiry about whether Digitask can put it together and a list of suggested monthly prices to pay them.  The second document that was leaked included an outline of how Digitask would deploy the solution.  The malware that Digitask would build was referred to as the “Skype Capture Unit.” 

The Skype Capture Unit would be in the form of an executable file delivered to a target machine according to Ars Technica.  This file would then transfer unencrypted conversations to a Skype Recording Server.  This server can record 10 Skype conversations at once and then send it to another party. 

Some VoIP software that is available on the market already has wiretapping built-in.  VoIP open source software generally makes it hard to tap conversations.  Currently Skype doesn’t have wiretapping built-in so your conversations on the software are safe for now.