60

There are still a couple of security functions, which may matter to you, which Signal does better than WhatsApp. Client-Side Fanout When you use a group chat in WhatsApp, you send your message to the server who in turn distributes it to all the group members. This way WhatsApp learns all the social structures and can in theory perform traffic analysis to ...


60

But I was wondering, is it actually more secure to use for example Whatsapp Web in Franz instead of the browser? No, Franz is not inherently more secure than a regular browser. Under the hood, Franz actually uses a web engine itself as you can tell from grepping through the binary. It is built with electron (which is based on Chrome which uses Blink, a ...


49

Correct: The Web-Client is establishing a secure connection to the phone. The messages you send through WhatsApp Web are encrypted by the WebClient, decrypted by the phone, then re-encrypted to fit the end-to-end scheme and then sent to the recipient. Same thing the other way around. I dont know details about the protocol, but this is what i suspect (or how ...


46

E2EE doesn't protect data at rest. Unlike Signal, WhatsApp doesn't encrypt internal message database. A forensic analysis can decrypt deleted messages if Data Encryption Keys which encrypt user's and application data are compromised. It seems to be impractical but that's what spyware agencies are doing now. According to this research paper: Data Security on ...


38

Let me try to sum up what the landscape of end-to-end encrypted messaging protocols for group chat looks like: Protocols like PGP have been around for some time and offer "group messaging" by simply encrypting the content with a randomly generated symmetric key and then encrypting that key asymmetrically with the public keys of each of the recipients. These ...


30

Many of the news were just sensational news, not actual. There have been reports surfacing after this that security agencies monitor xbox and playstation communications. It came up as a playstation was found in one of the Paris attackers flats. It was baseless and been debunked quickly (https://motherboard.vice.com/read/how-the-baseless-terrorists-...


25

No, No, No! Don't base your security on a program that is a crippled version of the Signal protocol. public key It is public and normally one publishes it on the net and verify it with other channels like the Signal does or call your friend and use your voice! There are formal solutions for these, the Certificate authorities. private key It is your private,...


20

As a Jami (formerly Ring) developer I will try to answer this. Of course this answer is inevitably biased and incomplete, but it might answer some concerns or misunderstandings about how Jami works, and help to understand its architecture, and the limits of this architecture. Building a secure distributed real-time communication platform is often a trade-off ...


19

Disclaimer: this is a non-technical contribution (addition to already given answer). Some content may be subjective, possibly speculative. I believe that when evaluating/comparing information security solutions one needs to go beyond the purely technical //current state// of the solution and consider what trajectory a given product will likely take in the ...


17

As the Telegram FAQ mentions, there is a 'secret chat' option that does not store chats on their servers. As for the underlying question of, "does storing chats lower their security?" then that is something to consider. Chats being stored on the server does mean that copies can be made on the server for decryption later. This increases the exposure of the ...


16

EFF's Secure Messaging Scorecard currently rates "Telegram (secret chats)" with a 100% security rating. However, the software of the servers Telegram uses is not open; cf. the FAQ "Why not open source everything?" WhatsApp was docked on the "Is the code open to independent review?" metric. Telegram is now completely open; source code here. Being open, you ...


11

Firstly, from their paper Messages to WhatsApp groups build on the pairwise encrypted sessions outlined above to achieve efficient server-side fan-out for most messages sent to groups. This is accomplished using the “Sender Keys” component of the Signal Messaging Protocol. The first time a WhatsApp group member sends a message to a group: ...


10

2017-11-01 update: MIT Security analysis of Telegram finds it to be insecure. Quote from the following paper ...”our survey shows that Telegram has had serious and simple issues in the protocol (e.g. modified buggy Diffie-Hellman key exchange) that any knowledgeable security expert could penetrate.” https://courses.csail.mit.edu/6.857/2017/project/19.pdf ...


9

As far as I understand, SMP does not protect against MitM per se. The paper's authors clearly state, Suppose that Alice and Bob are chatting online using OTR and decide to run the SMP, but have not previously selected a secret and possess no channel more secure than their current conversation. They can still select an appropriate secret in this case,...


9

I think you mean Perfect forward secrecy, which WhatsApp does support in its end-to-end encryption. PFS is difficult for chat apps, because of the uncertainty in the connection, and is the reason many chat apps just ignore it. In normal PFS (like TLS or SSH) an ongoing connection is established and the keys are recalculated every so many bytes or minutes. ...


8

There have been several suggestions that skype is indeed backdoored and evesdroppable. If your concerned about it because Microsoft is now the owner, there are plenty of other alternatives to Skype which I would suggest as the easiest and cleanest solution (besides, if MS is your competitor, why would you buy their services). Some of the alternatives like ...


7

The objective of Diffie-Helmann (I guess they authenticate DH somehow) is only key distribution. The objective of MTProto is encryption. Diffie-Helmann feeds MTProto with keys lets say. It is in a higher level. Although MTProto is 'broken', secure key establishment still takes place. So DH effectively does not fail in its purpose (key distribution). ...


7

No, loss off message history isn't inherent to end to end encryption, but it's inherent to forward secrecy. It might be either the Wire developer conflating between e2e and FS, or they consider FS to be a crucial component of e2e, which is not entirely unreasonable viewpoint but is not one that's common.


7

Your public key is public. You can publish or send it without protection. Unless you have the very specific need that your identity must not be associated with your public key. Your private (or symmetric) key is private. You should never send or transmit it. If you need to transmit it to yourself on another device, you can use the public key of the receiving ...


6

This depends on model you use for group chat: Peer-to-peer: You need to encrypt each message with the recipient's puiblic key and send it to each user separately, and create the "illusion" of a group chat. This will prevent new group joiners to see previous messages. Client-Server: You upload the messages "signed" to the server, and encrypt them to each ...


6

I think your group is in fact a so-called Super Group. Super Groups work a little differently than normal groups and the one-check/two-check system doesn't apply here. All messages get double checks instantly when received by the server. (That's a feature.) The creator of your original group has clicked the 'upgrade to supergroup' button at some point, ...


6

Not having a phone number tied to you wouldn't really stop intelligence agencies from associating you with who you're talking with. Encryption ensures they can't track what you're talking about, but real time messaging service like these can always track who your talking with, because they need to route messages to the right recipients based on information ...


6

It is possible for a server admin to silently add an infiltrator to group chats. But without letting the group to be notified, It's not possible well atleast in Signal protocol. Signal is open-source so you can verify from the source that a message that someone has joined the group is shown on GUI. While what's app if pressurised by the government can choose ...


6

TLS (Transport Layer Security) simply encrypts the data in transit between two endpoints. This is good for preventing casual observation, but doesn't protect the data from all vectors. And TLS is between two parties, so a group chat would need a number of TLS connections with the associated encryption overhead (direct chat); or would not be secure (relay ...


6

This is hard to answer, because, depending on how hard an entity might push, anyone might still give away information/unlock his/her phone under a threat. However: To mitigate accidental unlocks, you might want to have a messenger app with it's own lock, besides the phone lock. To not being identifiable by the phone number itself, use a messenger identity ...


6

Suppose the client software is trustworthy (after all, if it isn't, how do you know it doesn't send a copy of all your messages somewhere). Everyone installs the client, it generates a new key pair each time, sends the public key to a directory service with the user's identifier (phone number, FB uid, whatever). You want to send an encrypted message to me. ...


5

As explained in RFC 3920 (section 5), a machine will send the "<starttls>" tag to indicate that it supports SSL/TLS, and then, when the final ">" of a subsequent "<proceed/>" XML element is sent and received, the underlying connection is immediately hijacked to begin a TLS handshake. The handshake consists in TLS messages (which are not XML at ...


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