IM vendors warn of Skype growth

The rapid growth in use of the free Skype voice-over-IP service could open up companies to severe security breaches, vendors warned at the RSA Conference.

"Skype phones save money and provide users with privacy, but the system is also extremely evasive [to avoid blocking] and allows users top send files through encrypted tunnels," said Jonathan Christensen, CTO of Facetime. "Skype is the next generation of security threat."

Just 11 months since the launch of the system, he said, there have been 71 million downloads of the system, with the number of users growing by 120,000 every day.

Speaking on a platform alongside two other instant messaging security companies, Akonix and IMLogic, Christensen said Skype not only allows users to phone in confidence, but also to send any size of encrypted file over the corporate network.

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