Global Skype outage may have been caused by a DDoS attack

The recent global outage of video-calling service Skype may have been caused by a DDoS attack, claim experts.

Microsoft has said that Skype is facing connectivity issues and has suffered a global outage even though all consumers have not been affected.

"We are aware of an incident where users will either lose connectivity to the application or may be unable to send or receive messages. Some users will be unable to see a black bar that indicates them that a group call is ongoing, and longer delays in adding users to their buddy list," said Microsoft via a blog post.

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"We have made some configuration corrections and mitigated the impact. We are continuing to monitor and we will post an update when the issue is fully resolved," the company added.

Skype suffered a major outage on Monday night, following which a number of users, especially in Europe, were not able to log in to the service or were not able to send and receive messages. Microsoft hasn't explained why the issues arose but a number of people are convinced that the outage may have been caused by a DDoS attack.

"“It's clear that DDoS attacks continue to impact even the largest global organizations, including the recent confirmed attack against Skype. Continuing to rely on traditional IT security solutions, and/or human intervention to deal with the growing DDoS epidemic will continue to prove devastating to businesses.

"As recent events have confirmed once again, proactive, automated protection is required to keep the Internet-connected business available in the face of DDoS attacks," said Stephanie Weagle, VP at Corero Network Security.

“The bottom line is that DDoS attacks can take virtually any company offline – a reality that any business must be prepared to defend against. And it isn’t just the giant attacks that organizations need to worry about.

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"Small, sub-saturating attacks, which most IT and network security wouldn’t even recognize as a DDoS attack are more common than not. In fact, the majority of DDoS attacks are less than five minutes in duration and under 1 Gbps – these shorter attacks typically evade detection by most legacy and homegrown DDoS mitigation solutions," she added.

Microsoft's last update arrived at 8 PM GMT on Tuesday and the company is yet to confirm if the issue has been completely resolved.

Interestingly, a hacker group named @_CyberTeam_ has claimed responsibility for the DDoS attack on Skype. The group has further claimed that its next target will be Steam, a popular video game platform. Microsoft has neither confirmed nor denied the involvement of any hacker group in the global outage so far.