Skype: Hide your IP address from resolvers on Linux

How to hide your IP address from Skype resolvers on Linux

On Windows, Skype offers an option called “Allow direct connections to contacts only” which prevents from being tracked by so-called Skype resolvers. Unfortunately, Linux does not offer such an option in its graphical user interface. However, there is a detailed description on the Skype community boards on how to enable this feature on Windows 8, which does not seem to have the option integrated into the GUI either. On Linux, it is possible to follow the instructions as well, replacing the corresponding file name by its Linux equivalent:

  1. Quit Skype
  2. Open a terminal and enter cd /home/{linux username}/.Skype/{skype name}/ (replace {linux username} with your Linux username and {skype name} with your skype name)
  3. Enter gedit config.xml in order to open the configuration file
  4. Find <Account> in the file using Ctrl+F
  5. Enter <PrivateSkypeMode>1</PrivateSkypeMode> after <Account>
  6. Save the file using Ctrl+S
  7. Restart Skype

If you successfully followed the described steps above, you will notice that Skype resolvers will not be able to resolve your IP address anymore. However, for contacts in your contact list this might still be possible using network packet inspectors like Wireshark.

Why you should not purchase Skype resolver blacklisting services

There are several reasons to not purchase blacklisting offered by several Skype resolving services.
Firstly, Skype resolvers violate your privacy and in order to protect yourself you should pay the operators. This is morally reprehensible and – in my opinion – close to blackmailing.
Secondly, many operators behind these services seem to be cybercriminals which have infected a various number of machines in order to run distributed denial of service attacks. It is not uncommon that after you have successfully resolved the IP address of a Skype user, you will be asked whether you wish to take the IP address down using some commercial “booter”. In most countries, this is illegal and therefore, the operators should not be supported.
Most importantly, if you have purchased the blacklisting service, this blacklisting only applies to the Skype resolver for which you have purchased it. If the IP address resolvement fails using one Skype resolver, a malicious attacker will just move on to the next one. And even if you would purchase blacklisting for all available Skype resolvers offering this service, which might not be all, I doubt you could afford it.
Furthermore, there are native methods, like the one described in this blog post, to prevent your IP being found by Skype resolvers – for free.

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12 Responses to Skype: Hide your IP address from resolvers on Linux

  1. Casper says:

    Great! It is working!

  2. None says:

    Does not work to Fedora.

    • Admin says:

      Hi,

      unfortunately, I did not test the procedure on Fedora. Did you try to obtain a new IP address before? If you have a dynamically assigned IP address, this can be achieved by either switching your router off and on again or even just waiting a day until you have a new IP address assigned due to forced (mostly nightly) reconnects. Otherwise you might consider using a VPN just for the purpose of testing your Skype configuration. Many resolvers cache resolves, meaning they will not immediately stop to return your old IP address. You might also try another resolver to see an immediate result. I do not see why it should not work, because I do not think the Skype implementation for Fedora is not essentially different from the implementation for other Linux distributions.

  3. mark says:

    I can’t make it work… here what i got when trying step one

    savage@savage:~$ cd /home/{Savage}/.Skype/{savagedoxes}/
    bash: cd: /home/{Savage}/.Skype/{savagedoxes}/: No such file or directory
    savage@savage:~$ cd /home/Savage/.Skype/savagedoxes/
    bash: cd: /home/Savage/.Skype/savagedoxes/: No such file or directory
    savage@savage:~$ sudo cd /home/Savage/.Skype/savagedoxes/
    [sudo] password for savage:
    sudo: cd: command not found
    savage@savage:~$ /home/Savage/.Skype/savagedoxes/
    bash: /home/Savage/.Skype/savagedoxes/: No such file or directory

  4. Nunya says:

    There is plenty of Skype resolver websites that still store ips in a database such as http://mylittlespamlinkhasbeenremoved.com.

    • Admin says:

      Yes, resetting your ip address by turning off and on your router will work in these cases if you have a dynamic IP address assigned from your ISP. Still, you are relatively safe if you do not change your ip address because it can only be stored in a database if your Skype name has been resolved before.

  5. Lord Gaben says:

    Thanks! Diden’t know about this handy trick

  6. James says:

    Thanks for this trick using Skype. For hiding IP address you can use https://proxylion.com/

  7. Gps says:

    Thank you for this tip. Worked like a charm on openSUSE 13.1.
    I did however just use Kwrite,(text editor) and dolphin (filebrowser), not the commandline.

  8. Does not work on Debian due to Debian having different install paths and whatnot

    • Admin says:

      What version of Debian have you tried it on? I have a Virtual Machine with Debian 8 Jessie here and it works as described above.
      You could try to start Skype, then open a terminal and run ps aux | grep skype which will return the process id of skype. If you have logged into Skype, you might be able to find the folder where the config.xml is located by running lsof -p skype-pid | grep 'skype-username'.

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