McAfee signs up for Skype certification

McAfee has signed up to go Skype-certified, ensuring its products are officially approved for security communications made over the Net phone software.

Skype chat and voice communications are already encrypted as part of the application. But McAfee software will also scan files sent using the file transfer function for malicious content.

The badge is more to assure Skype users that they can be confident in the McAfee products, rather than adding any new features that would be otherwise unavailable in an un-certified version. But with Skype’s 113 million users, such certification is attractive enough.

From today, McAfee Internet Security Suite 2006, McAfee VirusScan 2006 and McAfee Personal Firewall 2006 will all be Skype certified. The McAfee Internet Security Suite 2006 will also carry the Skype certification mark on retail packaging.

Sarah Whipp, Senior Director, EMEA Marketing, McAfee, said: ‘We are very committed to providing Internet users with the best possible experience in a fully protected PC environment. McAfee is delighted to be working with Skype because together, we can ensure users stay safe online.’

Even though Skype is built with security features such as encryption, it’s not beyond the odd security flaw or issue of its own. Its popularity alone has made it the subject of phishing campaigns claiming that ‘your online profile was not successfully updated and your Skype account has been temporarily suspended’, subsequently urging the recipient to download malicious code.

Additionally, a bug was found in the software itself in May, allowing a malformed weblink to automatically download a specific file over the file transfer function – reason enough to have security software installed in any case.

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