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Skype starts rolling out fix for IM bug

Following a week of rogue Skype instant messages hitting third-party contacts' inboxes, the video chat service today began rolling out a fix.

The first set of patches are now available for download on Skype for Windows and Skype for Linux. Mac and Windows Phone fixes are forthcoming. Skype recommends downloading the updated versions as soon as they are available.

"Although we cannot determine precisely how many users may have been affected by this error, we believe the number is small given the very specific circumstances under which the error occurs," the company said on its blog.

Not all Skype users were affected by the error. The service estimated that it hit those on Skype 5.10 for Windows, 5.8 for Mac, 4.0 for Linux, and 1.2 for Windows Phone.

"We can assure that users of Skype 5.9 for Windows, Skype 2.8 for Android and Skype 4.0 for iOS have not been affected," the blog said.

In its release notes, Skype explains that program crashes during an IM session may, "in some cases," result in the last message entered or sent prior to the crash being delivered to a different contact after the service is rebooted or a new user has logged in.

The issue came to light last week, when users began posting about the bug on Skype message boards, complaining that unconnected contacts were receiving messages from a private conversation with someone else.

A Skype community manager posted on the thread Friday saying that the company was actively investigating.

In addition to the IM fix, file sending on desktop versions of Skype has been adjusted to allow saving of files for users who have a hard disk drive in FAT32 format.

Skype 4.0. for Linux updates also include contact list and call view upgrades.