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Confusion over Skype security threat clears up

Researchers now characterize threat to Skype IM tool as a Trojan horse, not a worm.

Confusion over a security threat hitting the popular VoIP service Skype was resolved Tuesday, with researchers re-characterizing the threat as a Trojan horse rather than a worm.

Earlier this week, security firm Websense issued an advisory that a worm was using Skype Chat--the Net telephone provider's instant-messaging tool--to self-propagate. The security warning advised users to be wary of instant messages that asked for users to download and run a file, sp.exe.

But shortly after the advisory went out, confusion began to emerge as to whether the security issue was in fact a worm. Other security firms chimed in, questioning whether a worm was on the loose.

Websense later revised its security alert on Tuesday, re-characterizing the threat as a Trojan horse.

"After discussions with the very helpful Skype security team, the behavior of this Trojan using the Skype API (application programming interface) is as per the specifications of the API," Websense stated in its revised advisory. "The end user who is running Skype does get notified that a program is attempting to access it and must acknowledge it...there is no vulnerability in Skype at this time that has been uncovered."