WhatsApp is now most widely used end-to-end crypto tool on the planet

WhatsApp logoWhatsApp has enabled end-to-end encryption across all versions of its messaging and voice calling software, according to a Tuesday announcement on the company's website. Given that WhatsApp is already in use by over 1 billion people worldwide, as users upgrade to the latest version, it will become the most widely used end-to-end crypto tool.

"We live in a world where more of our data is digitized than ever before," Jan Koum, a WhatsApp co-founder, wrote in a company blog post on Tuesday. "Every day we see stories about sensitive records being improperly accessed or stolen. And if nothing is done, more of people's digital information and communication will be vulnerable to attack in the years to come. Fortunately, end-to-end encryption protects us from these vulnerabilities."

As the company explained in a white paper that was released on Monday night, WhatsApp uses the Signal protocol (formerly known as Axolotl), which was created by Moxie Marlinspike’s Open Whisper Systems. (That protocol is also used by Marlinspike’s Signal encrypted messaging and voice app.)

In November 2014, WhatsApp announced that it was using the same encryption as Signal in the Android version of the chat app. Over the next two years, the company worked to roll out strong encryption to iOS and other mobile platforms and to expand the data protected to group chats, voice calls, and media attachments.

The implementation of this crypto protocol is largely thanks to American tax dollars: since 2013, Open Whisper Systems has received a total of $2.25 million from the Open Technology Fund, an umbrella group whose primary funder is the United States government, through agencies such as the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the Department of State.

The move received praise from many privacy advocates and civil libertarians, including Christopher Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Our elected officials in Congress who authorized the millions in funding that paid for WhatsApp's crypto did us all a favor. Thank you.

 

— Christopher Soghoian (@csoghoian) April 5, 2016

The WhatsApp paper also points out that the encryption protocol uses perfect forward secrecy, so that "even if encryption keys from a user’s device are ever physically compromised, they cannot be used to go back in time to decrypt previously transmitted messages."

Specifically, WhatsApp uses Curve25519, and the app now allows users to verify fingerprints for a given chat session, presumably over a secondary communications channel.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: WhatsApp

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
Consumer group recommends iPhone 8 over anniversary model
 
LTE connections wherever you go and instant waking should come to regular PCs, too
 
That fiction is slowly becoming a reality
 
The Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC includes the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem
 
Human moderators can help make YouTube a safer place for everyone
 
Google says Progressive Web Apps are the future of app-like webpages
 
All 2018 models to sport the 'notch'
 
The biggest exchange in South Korea, where the BTC/KRW pair is at $14,700 now
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (4)