Few Messaging Apps Found To Be Truly Secure

How secure Relevant Products/Services is your favorite messaging app? In all probability, not very. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, only six applications were able to pass its security Relevant Products/Services test. That’s out of a total of 39 services (including those from Apple, Google, Facebook, BlackBerry, Microsoft, and Yahoo) that EFF examined.
EFF looked at seven issues:

Is data Relevant Products/Services encrypted in transit?
Is it encrypted so the provider can’t read it?
Can the service verify contacts’ identities?
Are past communications secure if keys are stolen?
Is the code open to independent review?
Is security design properly documented?
Has the code been audited?
Each of the 39 apps tested encrypted content in transit, but only six satisfied all of the EFF’s requirements on its Secure Messaging Scorecard. Those apps were ChatSecure + Orbot, Cryptocat, RedPhone, Silent Phone, Silent Text and TextSecure.
Apple actually fared well, hitting five out of the seven requirements. It lost points for not verifying contacts’ identities or opening its code to independent review.

Most other popular services only checked off two boxes (WhatsApp, Snapchat, Skype, Google Hangouts, Facebook chat) — usually encrypted in transit and having code audited. AIM only satisfied the encrypted in transit bit.

“In the face of widespread Internet surveillance, we need a secure and practical means of talking to each other from our phones and computers,” the EFF’s report said. “Many companies offer ‘secure messaging’ products — but are these systems actually secure?”

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