Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and chat service Skype is investigating a potential security threat that can expose a person’s last known Internet Protocol (IP) address.

“We are investigating reports of a new tool that allegedly captures a Skype user’s last known IP address,” said Adrian Asher, Skype’s director of product security.

Steps taken by Skype

Skype, which is owned by software giant Microsoft Corporation, said in an e-mail statement, “This is an ongoing, industry-wide issue faced by all peer-to-peer software companies. We are committed to the safety and security of our customers and we are taking measures to help protect them.”

The privacy issue is raised by a tool that shows a user’s IP address via general information and log files without the need to add the targeted user as a contact. Skype uses a peer-to-peer system to route its data traffic, but security experts have recently warned that its encryption system is proprietary so it has not been open for proper scrutiny.