The Snowden Phone: A Comparative Survey of Secure Instant Messaging Mobile Applications [article]

Christian Johansen, Aulon Mujaj, Hamed Arshad, Josef Noll
2019 arXiv   pre-print
In recent years, it has come to attention that governments have been doing mass surveillance of personal communications without the consent of the citizens. As a consequence of these revelations, developers have begun releasing new protocols for end-to-end encrypted conversations, extending and making popular the old Off-the-Record protocol. Several new implementations of such end-to-end encrypted messaging protocols have appeared, and commonly used chat applications have been updated with
more » ... implementations as well. In this survey, we compare the existing implementations, where most of them implement one of the recent and popular protocols called Signal. We conduct a series of experiments on these implementations to identify which types of security and usability properties each application provides. The results of the experiments demonstrate that the applications have variations of usability and security properties, and none of them are infallible. Finally, the paper gives proposals for improving each application w.r.t. security, privacy, and usability.
arXiv:1807.07952v2 fatcat:njkcmmo7fnctvdtt7txvdjq7py