reports of a security vulnerability in the Android version of the app were found which could compromise personal information, including a user's name, phone number, chat logs and more. According to Skype, no reported examples of malicious applications misusing this information have been found, but the company will continue to monitor the situation after the fix has been rolled out.Skype released an update to its Android mobile application today which fixes the recently reported security issues in addition to bringing 3G calling to U.S. users. Earlier this month,
However, the more exciting news for U.S. users of the Android application is support for 3G calling, which had previously been limited to select Verizon phones.
Skype launched on Android in March 2010 through a partnership with Verizon Wireless, but it wasn't until October that a general release was made available to all Android users. In that version, calling was restricted to Wi-Fi only in the U.S.
At the time, Skype's communications lead Peter Parkes told us the company offered "an optimized solution for Android" through its partnership with Verizon Wireless, and that the new Wi-Fi version allowed customers of other mobile carriers to also use the service. "There's an extensive network of Wi-Fi hotspots and Wi-Fi providers across the U.S., so people in the U.S. should have plenty of opportunities to use Skype," he said.
People who actually live in the U.S. know that this "extensive" network consists of, essentially, coffee shops, airports and McDonald's. The new 3G calling feature will make the Skype app dramatically better.
The update also hints at Skype having inked deals with other mobile carriers, or perhaps an end to the exclusivity clause in its Verizon's deal. We've asked Skype to comment, and will update if the company responds.
Update, Skype's response:
Thank you for your inquiry. We have extended the support of Skype for Android to work over 3G (and WiFi). This is just part of Skypes on-going effort to provide consumers with the best Skype experience. With the large 3G networks and extensive network of WiFi hotspots across the US, Android phone users are provided with many opportunities to use Skype on their mobile phone.
In the US, our partnership with Verizon still allows us to offer Skype mobile with an optimized solution on Verizons network. Since March 2010, Verizon consumers have enjoyed Skype on a variety of Blackberry, Android, BREW, Windows Mobile, and Palm phones. With the launch of Verizons 4G LTE network, Skype mobile with video will soon be available. In addition Verizon customers can use the Skype for Android when traveling abroad.
Security Fix Released
Earlier this month, Justin Case who blogs at Android Police discovered a security exploit in the newest version of Skype, then in beta. At first he assumed the vulnerability was only in the test version, not the standard release. As it turned out, he was wrong. The general release from October 2010 also had the same issue - an issue that could potentially affect the 10 million users of the mobile app, Case noted.
Skype immediately began investigating the vulnerability and made note of its progress on its official blog on April 20, reminding Android users to be careful about what 3rd-party applications they install.
As of this morning's release, the reported vulnerability has been patched, says Skype. It encourages all Android users to download the most recent version from the Android Market as soon as possible. Don't worry Skype, you had us at "3G calling."