Skype bug sends messages to random contacts, fix coming soon

Summary:A bug has been discovered in Skype that sends users' private instant messages to other contacts whom the messages were never intended for. Skype has confirmed the issue and is working on a fix.

Update on July 17 - Skype squashes bug that sends messages to random contacts

Skype bug sends messages to random contacts, fix coming soon
Over on Skype's Support Network, a handful of users started to complain about an odd occurrence in a thread titled "Skype text messages I received have gone to another contact." A forum member by the name "SunnyLady78" posted the following plea for help:

I am really surprised and shocked how it has happened. When I did last one Skype upgrade in June 2012 It has become to work very strange. Sometimes when I open chat window with some contact, It lists all latest messages from that person although I have already read them.

Few days ago one friend from my contact list has received few messages I had already received before from other my skype contact. It seemed these messages were sent by me. It is really confusing.

I have no history option in privacy section and cleared all my cookies. How can I protect my privacy?

If I make skype upgrade, can these problems arrise due to upgrade? (that somehow messages are mixed and sent to other contacts)?

Five other individuals of the Microsoft-owned program confirmed they were also seeing instant messages being sent to the wrong person from their contact list. Sometimes it's just a few messages, while other times it's a whole conversation.

So Skype began to look into the issue. "Thanks for your reports and sorry for the inconvenience caused by this," a Skype spokesperson said in a statement. "We are currently investigating and hope to provide a solution for this soon."

Indeed, a bug was discovered. "We are aware that in rare circumstances IM's between two contacts could be sent to an unintended third contact," a Skype spokesperson told Engadget. "We are rolling out a fix for this issue in the next few days and will notify our users to download an updated version of Skype."

Since this appears to be related to a June 2012 update to Skype, it may be that all those on older versions are unaffected. The good news is that Microsoft is calling this "rare" and that the forum topic in question hasn't gotten very lengthy. Still, it's unclear how many users are experiencing this or how many incorrect instant messages have been sent. After all, five out of the six users who complained about it on the forums signed up just to confirm they were having problems.

Be careful what you IM on Skype. Until this is fixed, I would just stick to video calling.

Update at 3:00PM PST - Skype sent me the following updated statement:

Based on recent Skype customer forum posts and our own investigation over the past couple of days, we have identified a bug that we are working hard to fix. This issue occurs only when a user's Skype client crashes during a Skype IM session, which may in some cases result in the last IM entered or sent prior to the crash being delivered to a different IM contact after the Skype client is rebooted or logged in as a new user.

Although we cannot determine precisely how many users may have been affected by this error, we believe the number is small given the very specific circumstances under which the error occurs. At Skype, our customer experience is paramount and we are working hard to release fixes for impacted clients within the next several days.

The Skype clients impacted include: Skype 5.9 and 5.10 for Windows, Skype 5.8 for Mac, Skype 4.0 for Linux, Skype 1.2 for Windows Phone, Skype 2.8 for Android, Skype 4.0 for iOS. We urge all Skype customers to download the latest client as soon as they are notified that any update, including this fix, is available.

We sincerely apologize to our community for any inconvenience.

I will update you again when the issue is fixed; I'm told "the hotfix should be out later this week."

Update on July 17 - Skype squashes bug that sends messages to random contacts

See also:

Topics: Microsoft, Apps, Security, Software

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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