Few weeks ago I turned on Skype after a few weeks of time, and I found a “surprise”:
your skype account has been suspended for security reasons.
Argh, What could have happened? I usually use somewhat complex password in all my various accounts on the internet, and as far as possible (for my memory) I try to change them regularly, and do not use the same for all the different services that I register to. Maybe someone armed with a script had been doing brute force activity on my account inside some mass attack, in any case, I contacted Skype support.
At first by chat, a kind young lady has checked a couple of data on my account, and then told me in order to regain access to my account, I would have to answer some security questions. I thought “good thing, make me the questions …”. Well, believe it or not, but the list of questions was as follows:
To follow up on that request and in order for us to verify your identity, I need the following details from your account: • Order number or date of last delivered purchase • Billing Address • Payment Details: First 6 and last 4 numbers on your registered Credit Card or PP/Skrill reg. email • Country creation • Year and Month of creation • Registered email address • Please provide us 5 names of your contact list Please be aware that if information provided will be missing or incorrect, your request cannot be processed We will be looking forward to your response so we can assist you further.
I was left literally thrilled, and I began to respond really bad to the person at the other end of the chat. If some questions are reasonable, some are really dumb, for example, I possessed about 9 euro credit, purchased more than four years ago and never consumed, how could I remember the order number and purchase date of that credit, made certainly with a credit card in the meantime expired? But the funniest of all is the date of the account creation: I signed up on skype at the beginning of the service, in 2003, how could I remember the exact month and year of registration? According to the Skype support, going to check the email confirming the registration. As if I was saving all my emails of the last 10 years.
I tried to respond to various requests, but a very cold email alerted me that was not enough, and therefore they could not reactivate my account. The final phrase, repeated in the same chat and email (and therefore the result of some copy / paste), was as follows:
Our customer’s security is our main priority so I hope you understand we need to treat this with caution.
Ironic, isn’t it? Now, given my past I know something about Information Security and I know that the levels of security must be sufficient to keep out the bad guys, but not excessive to the point of excluding even the legitimate users. Try it, without going into your Skype account, to answer all the questions I mentioned, are you able? If your answer is no, well you’re better learn the answers and write them down somewhere, could be your only hope to recover your skype account.
After 3 weeks of more and more acid emails to Skype support and their dumb safety rules I gave up to recover my previous Skype account. I lost over 200 contacts and even 9 Euros, which at this point I should suppose ended up in Microsoft’s wallet … I was at least able to restore my contacts: I found in the local installation a file called main.db and I opened it with SQLite Database Browser. In the Contacts table I found all my old contacts, so I was able to send them a new invitation to connect.
If you had among your contacts “dellock”, my new account is instead “dellock6”, add me to your contacts again if I did not sent you the invite.
And do an offline backup of your contacts …