A major Skype bug has been discovered whereby a specific combination of characters, when sent as a message, will bring the app to its knees.
Just a week or so after the discovery of a message that could crash Apple’s iOS Messages app, a similar thing has been found in Microsoft’s Skype.
While the former involved an unusual combination of characters, however, the message required to crash Skype is alarmingly ordinary.
Users on the Skype forums have reported finding that sending “http://:” (without the quote marks) as a message will crash the service. Those receiving the message will find that the service continues to crash anytime they try to log in to Skype.
Even deleting chat history doesn’t help, because Skype will automatically download said history from its servers and crash again.
As pointed out by VentureBeat, the bug affects older Windows, Android, and iOS versions of Skype. However, the Mac version and the touch-optimised Windows 8.1 version of Skype appear to be unaffected.
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If you’ve been affected by this bug, there is a workaround available to you. Apparently, if the person who sent you the original message deletes it from their end and you install and older version of Skype, it will stabilise.
Of course, that’s only applicable on Windows – iOS and Android will only offer the latest version.
Skype has confirmed that it is aware of the bug, and that it is “working to provide an resolution.”