Dubai: On Sunday, social media users in the UAE attempting to call relatives abroad reported that Skype calling seemed to be blocked. In the wake of this speculation, it appears that the recent problems with the application may be related to a cyber-attack launched on the service last week.
According to a blog post from the application’s owner Microsoft, the company is “aware of an incident where users will either lose connectivity to the application or may be unable to send or receive messages.”
In an update last Tuesday, Microsoft stated that it was “continuing to monitor and we will post an update when the issue is fully resolved.”
Initially, social media users in the UAE suggested that the service may have been closed. However, on June 19, hacking group CyberTeam took credit for the issues that Skype was suffering from, posting on Twitter: “Skype down by CyberTeam.”
Skype down by CyberTeam
Hello World !!!#SkypeDown - #SkypeOff - #CyberTeam— CyberTeam (@_CyberTeam_) June 19, 2017
According to service monitor Down Detector, problems with Skype’s service are currently affecting users in the UAE and Japan. Over the past week, the site has reported disruptions across Europe, in addition to Singapore, India, Pakistan and South Africa.
CyberTeam has suggested on its Twitter page that their attack was caused by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on Skype’s network.
The Luxembourg-based company appeared to confirm on June 23 that Skype had indeed been blocked in the UAE again, telling one user on Twitter that “unfortunately, Skype is blocked from the UAE and isn’t much within our control.”
Users on social media have been concerned about the outage of Skype, especially given the volume of calls that take place during Eid Al Fitr.
Maryam Al Razooqi said on Twitter: “Why did they block Skype in the UAE! What about those who depend on Skype for long calls?”
Multiple Gulf News readers wrote in on Sunday morning seeking clarity on the situation.
Neel Zabi said: “Hello I have a query...Why is my family back in India unable to hear my voice when I call on Skype?” she said.
Reader Noman Sardar had a similar question, asking: “What actually is the issue for Skype and Whatsapp calling that we’ve been facing over last two days?”
On Reddit, many complained of being able to hear the other person, but that person not being able to hear them.
“The problem is I’m able to see and hear the other person but they’re not able to do the same,” said Reddit user coffeedoct1.