Skype and my personal phone number…

A few days ago I had to use Skype again, after several years, in order to talk with a few friends of mine. I did had an account, but I was not really diligent and I did not remember well all details (password, attached email, and so on) so I decided to create a new account. After all, since I was not using Skype for several years, it was not a big deal to change identity on it. So far so good: a couple of minutes after I was already logged in and using Skype. After three or four days, I had to sign in again to make a call, but Skype refuses to let me log in stating I have to contact Microsoft account server to gain details about what was going wrong. And so I did. With surprise, Microsoft was claiming that my fresh account was generating too much spam, and has been locked accordingly. Uhm, how can I generate spam without having connected to any Microsoft-service? Strange, but hey, this is Microsoft, so I bindly believed they are doing the right thing and asked for unlocking my account. In order to get unlocked you need to insert a randomly generated numeric code that has to be sent only via SMS. Wait a minute: I never told to Skype (and therefore to Microsoft) what my personal phone number was, so how could they send me an SMS? Easy pal: I had to provide my personal phone number so that I can get my account unlocked, and yes, there was no other option available! Therefore, to recap:
  1. I got a new Skype account;
  2. after a couple of days my account was locked without any evidence of producing any bit of spam;
  3. I had to provide my personal phone number in order to get Skype working again.
It does sound to me like a strategy to get my personal phone number, and of course it was not a secure way of unlocking an account since an attacker could have stolen my password and provide his own phone number. I would like to get some advice from other Skype users about what happened to me, that is clearly not something strictly related to me. And I’m waiting for some spam on my phone…

The article Skype and my personal phone number... has been posted by Luca Ferrari on October 1, 2017