Last week, the news broke that a Russian programmer had reverse-engineered Skype’s proprietary VoIP protocols. In an interview, he praises Skype as a good product with more “polish” than open source software can muster. He denies any malicious intent including spamming or phihing, and says that products like Skype simply cannot remain proprietary for ever and hopes that Microsoft, which is buying Skype for $8.5 billion, will remain neutral to the project, and could benefit it in the end.
Tucked away in Syktyvkar, the capital of the Komi Republic some 1,400 km northeast of Moscow, Russian programming researcher Efim Bushmanov is getting a lot of attention. Having reverse engineered Skype protocols and then made his research available to the public via his blog just a few days ago on June 2, search queries bearing his name now generate over 10,000 responses on Google.