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Elon Musk Confirms Twitter 2.0 will Bring End-to-End Encryption to Direct Messages

Elon Musk Confirms Twitter 2.0 will Bring End-to-End Encryption to Direct Messages

November 28, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Twitter chief executive Elon Musk confirmed plans for end-to-end encryption ( E2EE ) for direct messages on the platform. The  feature  is part of Musk's vision for Twitter 2.0, which is expected to be what's called an "everything app." Other functionalities include longform tweets and payments, according to a slide deck shared by Musk over the weekend. The company's plans for encrypted messages first came to light in mid-November 2022, when mobile researcher Jane Manchun Wong  spotted  source code changes in Twitter's Android app referencing conversation keys for E2EE chats. It's worth noting that various other messaging platforms, such as Signal, Threema, WhatsApp, iMessage, Wire, Tox, and Keybase, already support encryption for messages. Google, which previously turned on E2EE for  one-to-one chats  in its RCS-based Messages app for Android, is currently piloting the same option for group chats. Facebook, likewise, began  enabling E2EE  on Messeng
Nearly 1,900 Signal Messenger Accounts Potentially Compromised in Twilio Hack

Nearly 1,900 Signal Messenger Accounts Potentially Compromised in Twilio Hack

August 16, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Popular end-to-end encrypted messaging service Signal on Monday disclosed the cyberattack aimed at Twilio earlier this month may have exposed the phone numbers of roughly 1,900 users. "For about 1,900 users, an attacker could have attempted to re-register their number to another device or learned that their number was registered to Signal," the company  said . "All users can rest assured that their message history, contact lists, profile information, whom they'd blocked, and other personal data remain private and secure and were not affected." Signal, which uses Twilio to send SMS verification codes to users registering with the app, said it's in the process of alerting the affected users directly and prompting them to re-register the service on their devices. The development comes less than a week after Twilio  revealed  that data associated with about 125 customer accounts were accessed by malicious actors through a phishing attack that duped the comp
Twitter's New Owner Elon Musk Wants DMs to be End-to-End Encrypted like Signal

Twitter's New Owner Elon Musk Wants DMs to be End-to-End Encrypted like Signal

April 28, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and Twitter's new owner, on Thursday called on adding support for end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to the platform's direct messages ( DM ) feature. "Twitter DMs should have end to end encryption like Signal, so no one can spy on or hack your messages," Musk  said  in a tweet. The statement comes days after the microblogging service  announced  it officially entered into an agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Elon Musk, with the transaction valued at approximately US$ 44 billion, or US$ 54.20 per share in cash.  The deal, which is expected to be closed over the next six months, will see it becoming a privately held company. "Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," Musk said in a statement. "I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making t
Facebook Postpones Plans for E2E Encryption in Messenger, Instagram Until 2023

Facebook Postpones Plans for E2E Encryption in Messenger, Instagram Until 2023

November 22, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, disclosed that it doesn't intend to roll out default end-to-end encryption (E2EE) across all its messaging services until 2023, pushing its original plans by at least a year. "We're taking our time to get this right and we don't plan to finish the global rollout of end-to-end encryption by default across all our messaging services until sometime in 2023," Meta's head of safety, Antigone Davis,  said  in a post published in The Telegraph over the weekend. The new scheme, described as a "three-pronged approach," aims to employ a mix of non-encrypted data across its apps as well as account information and reports from users to improve safety and combat abuse, noting that the goal is to deter illegal behavior from happening in the first place, giving users more control, and actively encouraging users to flag harmful messages. Meta had previously  outlined  plans to be "fully end-to-en
Facebook Adds End-to-End Encryption for Audio and Video Calls in Messenger

Facebook Adds End-to-End Encryption for Audio and Video Calls in Messenger

August 14, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Facebook on Friday said it's extending end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for voice and video calls in Messenger, along with testing a new opt-in setting that will turn on end-to-end encryption for Instagram DMs. "The content of your messages and calls in an end-to-end encrypted conversation is protected from the moment it leaves your device to the moment it reaches the receiver's device," Messenger's Ruth Kricheli  said  in a post. "This means that nobody else, including Facebook, can see or listen to what's sent or said. Keep in mind, you can report an end-to-end encrypted message to us if something's wrong." The social media behemoth said E2EE is becoming the industry standard for improved privacy and security. It's worth noting that the company's flagship messaging service gained support for E2EE in text chats in 2016, when it added a " secret conversation " option to its app, while communications on its sister platform What
MongoDB 4.2 Introduces End-to-End Field Level Encryption for Databases

MongoDB 4.2 Introduces End-to-End Field Level Encryption for Databases

June 20, 2019Swati Khandelwal
At its developer conference held earlier this week in New York, the MongoDB team announced the latest version of its database management software that includes a variety of advanced features, including Field Level Encryption, Distributed Transactions, and Wildcard Indexes. The newly introduced Field Level Encryption (FLE), which will be available in the upcoming MongoDB 4.2 release, is an end-to-end encryption feature that encrypts and decrypts sensitive users' data on the client-side, preventing hackers from accessing plaintext data even if the database instance left exposed online or the server itself gets compromised. Almost every website, app, and service on the Internet today usually encrypt (particularly "hashing") only users' passwords before storing them into the databases, but unfortunately left other sensitive information unencrypted, including users' online activity data and their personal information. Moreover, even if there is an encryption
Hacker Breaks Into French Government's New Secure Messaging App

Hacker Breaks Into French Government's New Secure Messaging App

April 19, 2019Swati Khandelwal
A white-hat hacker found a way to get into the French government's newly launched, secure encrypted messaging app that otherwise can only be accessed by officials and politicians with email accounts associated with the government identities. Dubbed " Tchap ," the end-to-end encrypted, open source messaging app has been created by the French government with an aim to keep their officials, parliamentarians and ministers data on servers inside the country over concerns that foreign agencies could use other services to spy on their communications. The Tchap app is built using the Riot client, an open source instant messaging software that implements self-hostable Matrix protocol for end-to-end encrypted communication. Yes, it's the same " Riot and Matrix " that was in the news earlier this week after an unknown hacker breaks into its servers and successfully stole unencrypted private messages, password hashes, access tokens, and GPG keys the project ma
Telegram Gained 3 Million New Users During WhatsApp, Facebook Outage

Telegram Gained 3 Million New Users During WhatsApp, Facebook Outage

March 14, 2019Mohit Kumar
WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram faced a widespread outage yesterday with users from around the world reporting issues with sending messages on WhatsApp and Messenger, posting feeds on Facebook and accessing other features on the three Facebook-owned platforms. While the outage was quite troubling both for the social media giant and its millions of users, guess who benefits the most out of the incident? TELEGRAM. Pavel Durov, the founder of the popular secure messaging platform Telegram, claims to have had a surge in sign-ups within the last 24 hours, at the time duration when its rival messaging services were facing downtime. "I see 3 million new users signed up for Telegram within the last 24 hours," Durov wrote on his Telegram channel. "Good. We have true privacy and unlimited space for everyone." Telegram is an excellent alternative to Facebook's Messenger and WhatsApp services, offering users an optional end-to-end encrypted messaging feature,
Does WhatsApp Have A Privacy Bug That Could Expose Your Messages?

Does WhatsApp Have A Privacy Bug That Could Expose Your Messages?

January 11, 2019Mohit Kumar
In-short conclusion—Whatsapp service or its 45-days deletion policy doesn't seem to have a bug. For detailed logical explanation, please read below. An Amazon employee earlier today tweeted details about an incident that many suggest could be a sign of a huge privacy bug in the most popular end-to-end encrypted Whatsapp messaging app that could expose some of your secret messages under certain circumstances. According to Abby Fuller, she found some mysterious messages on WhatsApp, notably not associated with her contacts, immediately after she created a new account with the messaging app on her brand new phone using a new number for the very first time. Fuller believes that the mysteriously appeared content on her new account was the message history associated with the WhatsApp account of the previous owner of the same SIM/mobile number, which WhatsApp pushed to her phone. Since for WhatsApp, your phone number is your username and password is the OTP it sends to that n
Australia Passes Anti-Encryption Bill—Here's Everything You Need To Know

Australia Passes Anti-Encryption Bill—Here's Everything You Need To Know

December 07, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Australia's House of Representatives has finally passed the "Telecommunications Assistance and Access Bill 2018," also known as the Anti-Encryption Bill , on Thursday that would now allow law enforcement to force Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Signal, and other tech giants to help them access encrypted communications. The Australian government argues the new legislation is important for national security and an essential tool to help law enforcement and security agencies fight serious offenses such as crime, terrorist attacks, drug trafficking, smuggling, and sexual exploitation of children. Since the bill had support from both major parties (the Coalition and Labor), the upper house could vote in support of the Assistance and Access Bill to make it law, which is expected to come into effect immediately during the next session of parliament in early 2019. Although the new legislation does not properly clarify specifics around the potential power that the Assistance
Severe Bug Discovered in Signal Messaging App for Windows and Linux

Severe Bug Discovered in Signal Messaging App for Windows and Linux

May 12, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have discovered a severe vulnerability in the popular end-to-end encrypted Signal messaging app for Windows and Linux desktops which could allow remote attackers to execute malicious code on recipients system just by sending a message—without requiring any user interaction. Discovered by Alfredo Ortega, a software security consultant from Argentina, the vulnerability was announced on Twitter just a few hours ago with a proof-of-concept video, demonstrating how a javascript payload sent over Signal for desktop app successfully got executed on the recipient's system. Although technical details of the vulnerability have not been revealed as of now, the issue appears to be a remote code execution vulnerability in Signal or at least something very close to persistent cross-site scripting (XSS) which eventually could allow attackers to inject malicious code onto targeted Windows and Linux systems. "For the time being, we can only confirm the execution
Twitter is Testing End-to-End Encrypted Direct Messages

Twitter is Testing End-to-End Encrypted Direct Messages

May 08, 2018Mohit Kumar
Twitter has been adopting new trends at a snail's pace. But it's better to be late than never. Since 2013 people were speculating that Twitter will bring end-to-end encryption to its direct messages, and finally almost 5 years after the encryption era began, the company is now testing an end-to-end encrypted messaging on Twitter. Dubbed " Secret Conversation ," the feature has been spotted in the latest version of Android application package (APK) for Twitter by Jane Manchun Wong, a computer science student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. End-to-end encryption allows users to send and receive messages in a way that no one, be it an FBI agent with a warrant, hacker or even the service itself, can intercept them. However, it seems like the Secret Conversation feature has currently been available only to a small number of users for testing. So, if you are one of those lucky ones, you will be able to send end-to-end encrypted Secret Conversation thro
Microsoft Office 365 Gets Built-in Ransomware Protection and Enhanced Security Features

Microsoft Office 365 Gets Built-in Ransomware Protection and Enhanced Security Features

April 06, 2018Mohit Kumar
Ransomware has been around for a few years, but it has become an albatross around everyone's neck, targeting big businesses, hospitals, financial institutions and individuals worldwide and extorting millions of dollars. Last year, we saw some major ransomware outbreaks, including WannaCry  and  NotPetya , which wreaked havoc across the world, hitting hundreds of thousands of computers and business networks worldwide. From small to mid-range businesses, Microsoft Office 365 remains the most widely used and fastest-growing work office suite, so it's no surprise that it has become a primary target for viruses, ransomware, and phishing scams. In fact, most strains of ransomware target Microsoft productivity apps such as Word, Excel and encrypt sensitive data to hold the company hostage until the ransom is paid. Now, to combat such cyber attacks, Microsoft has announced some new security features for Office 365 that can help users mitigate the damage done by ransomware a
Skype Finally Adds End-to-End Encryption for Private Conversations

Skype Finally Adds End-to-End Encryption for Private Conversations

January 12, 2018Mohit Kumar
Good news for Skype users who are concerned about their privacy. Microsoft is collaborating with popular encrypted communication company Signal to bring end-to-end encryption support to Skype messenger. End-to-end encryption assured its users that no one, not even the company or server that transmits the data, can decrypt their messages. Signal Protocol is an open source cryptographic protocol that has become an industry-wide standard—which is used in  Facebook Messenger , Whatsapp , and Google Allo for secure messaging. Dubbed Private Conversations , the new feature which is about to be introduced in Skype will offer end-to-end encryption for audio calls, text, and multimedia messages like videos and audio files. "Skype Private Conversations give you enhanced security through end-to-end encryption with an additional layer of security for conversations between you and your friends and family," the company announced .  "Private Conversations can only be betwe
WhatsApp Flaw Could Allow 'Potential Attackers' to Spy On Encrypted Group Chats

WhatsApp Flaw Could Allow 'Potential Attackers' to Spy On Encrypted Group Chats

January 11, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A more dramatic revelation of 2018—an outsider can secretly eavesdrop on your private end-to-end encrypted group chats on WhatsApp and Signal messaging apps. Considering protection against three types of attackers—malicious user, network attacker, and malicious server—an end-to-end encryption protocol plays a vital role in securing instant messaging services. The primary purpose of having end-to-end encryption is to stop trusting the intermediate servers in such a way that no one, not even the company or the server that transmits the data, can decrypt your messages or abuse its centralized position to manipulate the service. In order words—assuming the worst-case scenario—a corrupt company employee should not be able to eavesdrop on the end-to-end encrypted communication by any mean. However, so far even the popular end-to-end encrypted messaging services, like WhatsApp, Threema and Signal, have not entirely achieved zero-knowledge system. Researchers from Ruhr-Universität
Buggy Microsoft Outlook Sending Encrypted S/MIME Emails With Plaintext Copy For Months

Buggy Microsoft Outlook Sending Encrypted S/MIME Emails With Plaintext Copy For Months

October 12, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Beware, If you are using S/MIME protocol over Microsoft Outlook to encrypt your email communication, you need to watch out. From at least last 6 months, your messages were being sent in both encrypted and unencrypted forms, exposing all your secret and sensitive communications to potential eavesdroppers. S/MIME, or Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, is an end-to-end encryption protocol—based on public-key cryptography and works just like SSL connections—that enables users to send digitally signed and encrypted messages. According to a security advisory published by SEC Consult earlier this week, a severe bug (CVE-2017-11776) in Microsoft Outlook email client causes S/MIME encrypted emails to be sent with their unencrypted versions attached. When Outlook users make use of S/MIME to encrypt their messages and format their emails as plain text, the vulnerability allows the seemingly encrypted emails to be sent in both encrypted as well as human-readable clear text f
 Microsoft Cortana Can Now Read Your Skype Messages to Make Chat Smarter

Microsoft Cortana Can Now Read Your Skype Messages to Make Chat Smarter

October 10, 2017Mohit Kumar
Microsoft today announced built-in support for Cortana—an artificial intelligence-powered smart assistant—in Skype messenger on Android as well as iOS devices. What purpose does it serve? Microsoft wants its AI-based smart assistance to understand your conversations and help you with quick suggestions, ideas and information right inside your chat window. "Cortana can also help you organize your day—no need to leave your conversations. Cortana can detect when you're talking about scheduling events or things you have to do and will recommend setting up a reminder, which you will receive on all your devices that have Cortana enabled," Skype said in a blog post . In other words, it typically means — Microsoft's Cortana can now read your private Skype conversations. Should You Worry About Your Privacy? Yes, Cortana needs continuous monitoring of your private chats in order to come up with useful suggestions such as movie bookings, travel plans, nearby restaura
China Bans WhatsApp Messenger

China Bans WhatsApp Messenger

September 26, 2017Wang Wei
Popular instant messaging app WhatsApp has already been struggling for its existence in China ever since July when Chinese government blocked its users from sending photos and videos over the app. Now, it appears that China has largely blocked Facebook-owned WhatsApp in its latest step to tighten censorship as the country prepares for a major Communist Party gathering next month. Yes, WhatsApp no longer works in the country at all. China has a long history of blocking and limiting access to web services, especially social networks and Western-owned sites through its Great Firewall . The service currently blocks some 171 out of the world's leading websites, including Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and many Google services in mainland China. And now, it is WhatsApp. Although it's unclear how long the messaging app may remain inaccessible in the country, according to Symbolic Software, a Paris-based research firm that monitors WhatsApp's situation in Chi
A Company Offers $500,000 For Secure Messaging Apps Zero-Day Exploits

A Company Offers $500,000 For Secure Messaging Apps Zero-Day Exploits

August 24, 2017Swati Khandelwal
How much does your privacy cost? It will soon be sold for half a Million US dollars. A controversial company specialises in acquiring and reselling zero-day exploits is ready to pay up to US$500,000 for working zero-day vulnerabilities targeting popular secure messenger applications, such as Signal, Telegram and WhatsApp. Zerodium announced a new pricing structure on Wednesday, paying out $500,000 for fully functional remote code execution (RCE) and local privilege escalation (LPE) vulnerabilities in Signal, WhatsApp, iMessage, Viber, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Telegram. The payouts for all these secure messengers have been increased after tech companies introduced end-to-end encryption in their apps, making it more difficult for anyone to compromise their messaging platforms. The same payout is offered for remote code execution and local privilege escalation security flaws in default mobile email applications. Launched in 2015, Zerodium is a Washington, DC-based p
Telegram Agrees to Register With Russia to Avoid Ban, But Won't Share User Data

Telegram Agrees to Register With Russia to Avoid Ban, But Won't Share User Data

June 29, 2017Mohit Kumar
After being threatened with a ban in Russia , end-to-end encrypted Telegram messaging app has finally agreed to register with new Russian Data Protection Laws, but its founder has assured that the company will not comply to share users' confidential data at any cost. Russia's communications watchdog Roskomnadzor had recently threatened to block Telegram if the service did not hand over information required to put the app on an official government list of information distributors. The Russian government requirement came following terrorists' suicide bombings that killed 15 people in Saint Petersburg in April in which terrorists allegedly used the Telegram 's app to communicate and plot attacks. "There is one demand, and it is simple: to fill in a form with information on the company that controls Telegram," said Alexander Zharov, head of Roskomnadzor.  "And to officially send it to Roskomnadzor to include this data in the registry of organizers
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