first_imgIf you’ve been looking for an official explanation on why Skype‘s servers crashed so hard last week besides a cryptic statement about imploding supernodes, the VoIP company has thoughtfully explained the situation over on their official blog.Here’s what happened. On December 22nd, the servers handling Skype’s offline messaging became overloaded and slow to respond, which in turn triggered a nasty bug in the most popular version of the Windows client (5.0.0152) which resulted in the program crashing.The problem is that that Windows version of the Skype software actually accounts for roughly 50% of all Skype’s users… and 40% of those users crashed. What’s the problem? Well, despite appearances, Skype is a P2P service, with some users being chosen as “supernodes” to carry out additional coordination duties, route traffic and perform directory lookups. When those supernodes started crashing, the rest of the network shut down.Eventually, Skype fixed the problem by bringing online a huge number of extra high capacity supernodes to restore service, but it does show that Skype is actually vulnerable to P2P vulnerabilities. What’s most frustrating about the whole ordeal is a client that actually fixed the bug was already available on Windows… but not enough people had downloaded it.On their part, Skype is offering 30 minutes of free talk time to anyone affected by the outage, and they’re promising to be more aggressive about automatically updating Skype clients in the future. Let’s hope so.Read more at Skypelast_img