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From what was believed to be a ban in the UAE, it appears that the recent Skype outage may have been due to the recent cyber attack by a hacking group. The countries which were affected by the recent cyber attack include Singapore, South Africa, India, and Pakistan.
It’s quite possible that UAE may have been affected as well, which explains why users were not able to connect to their loved ones. While some users were able to connect, the call quality was choppy or broken in a way that one couldn’t understand or hear the other person. Recently, WhatsApp Calling had appeared to be working for a brief amount of time until Etisalat and Du had blocked the feature, as TRA clearly states that free VoIP services are banned in the region.
Following a statement by Skype on their Twitter page, it was believed earlier that the application was blocked by Etisalat and Du. But that may not be the case as the Skype.com domain is accessible and users are still able to sign in their accounts in the UAE.
Microsoft also issued a statement regarding the issue that says:
“..aware of an incident where users will either lose connectivity to the application or may be unable to send or receive messages.”
The hacking team that goes by the name as CyberTeam claimed on their Twitter page that said: “Skype down by CyberTeam” and “Hello World”, to taunt users with hashtags such as #SkypeDown and #SkypeOff. The attack was performed by launching a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack on the Skype network. DDoS attacks technically cripple the targeted servers by flooding it with unnecessary requests from possibly thousands of IP addresses, thereby overloading the network or machine and making it unavailable for all legit requests from users.
It should be also noted that CyberTeam is also known for launching attacks on Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN), Microsoft Xbox Live, the PC-based Steam, EA network, and more. The recent statement by Skype regarding its ban in the UAE may have been mistaken due to the DDoS attack. For now, let’s just wait out until Microsoft fixes all the connectivity issues with Skype.