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Skype Certifies McAfee Products. So?

Ken Camp points to a joint press release by Skype and McAfee saying McAfee’s security solutions are “Skype Certified.” Ken thinks that this means Skype has shared its encryption protocol with McAfee. I seriously doubt anything of the sort was done.

The way most “active” antivirus tools work is they watch file reads. As files are read, they are scanned for viruses. For specific applications like Outlook, an API of sorts is provided so third party anti-virus applications can scan things like message attachments without having to save the attachment and open it first. At best, Skype has provided some sort of API so McAfee products can do their thing as files are transferred. At worst, Skype simply relies on “normal” active antri-virus behaviour and doesn’t provide any special mechanism for antivirus scanners.

This doesn’t seem to be anything mopre than Skype gaining a little more mindshare. Putting the Skype name on retail boxes will certainly increase brand awareness, it makes that many more people aware of Skype’s presence. I’m not sure what’s in it for McAfee, quite honestly. Maybe they think they’re going to gain some marketshare by “associating” themselves with Skype, which is definitely a popular application.

I don’t know, I just don’t find anything to get excited about here. Am I missing something?

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