By February 24, 2014 Read More →

IM+ OTR as a solution over PRISM Scandal

OTR is available as an in-app-purchase in IM+ and IM+ Pro  apps for iOS and Android, but SHAPE  announces OTR-Price Reuction (Limited Time Offer)

This review is for those who are worried about messaging privacy.

It is not a secret anymore that social networks and popular messengers are not in fact 100% secure.
It is not recommended to transfer credit card numbers, passwords, your private photos and other private
information via them. However, many people do so and as a result unpredictable things happen. We never
know what can cause some innocent chatting… All that we know for sure is that the potential for abuse is
staggering.

So how can we protect our private data and feel more secure?

Privacy is a human right on one hand, but If we stop messaging via Internet at all, we risk to become less
mobile, communicative and effective in our life on the other.

Fortunately, there is another way OTR.

It is for those who want to continue using all popular messaging services without feeling that Big Brother is watching them. In short words OTR secures your information no matter which messaging protocol you use giving you a free messaging experience without any limitations. It’s like a private conversation when nobody else can hear and see you. And what is cool about it mobile users are able to activate OTR in their IM+ app.

Here is an OTR description to help IM+ mobile users to take full advantage of using their app.

1. OTR stands for “Offtherecord”.

When you install OTR plugin, all your messages are strongly encrypted, as OTR uses combination of different methods to protect them. For geeks this is also called as “AES symmetrickey algorithm’, “the Diffie–Hellman key exchange” and “the SHA1 hash function”).

2. OTR encryption is malleable, which means flexible.

Each message is encrypted using the shared secret taken from the last key received from the other party
and the last key that has been previously sent to the other party. The key disclosed in one message is not used until the following message, for reasons of authentication (see below).

3. OTR is endtoend encryption. That means that message is encrypted on sender’s side and decrypted
on receiver’s side. No matter how many servers are used to pass message from you to your contact none
of them is able to decrypt the message.OTR uses shortlived encryption/decryption keys that are generated
as needed and discarded after use. After encrypted chat is finished, not only any third party, but even
participants themselves will be unable to read those past messages. This may seem a disadvantage on one
hand, but in fact this means real privacy on the other.

4.This is close to offline conversation if you talk privately, nobody can prove that you have said something unless the conversation was recorded. So that’s it “ outofrecord” which is available on IM+ app.

5. Authentication is used to ensure that the person on the other end is the one claims to be. Authentication is also hybrid (using both digital signatures and MACs message authentication codes).

6. Authentication mechanism includes so called repudiation, so that the communications remain personal and unverifiable to third parties, but after a conversation is complete, anyone is able to forge a message to appear to have come from one of the participants in the conversation, assuring that it is impossible to prove that a specific message came from a specific person. A nice trick, isn’t it?

7. Adding OTR to IM+, you get supersecure chat. Offtherecord messaging service is included as inapp
purchase in IM+ messenger for iOS and Android platforms.

8. Does OTR have some disadvantages? Yes, it does. Other party should also have messenger which
supports OTR, so if you would like to chat securely, perhaps, you would need to become evangelist of secure messaging between your friends, relatives and colleagues.You may recommend Adium for Mac users, Pidgin for Windows users, and IM+ for mobile users.

9. How can I get OTR in IM+ app? Go to More, tap on Store and choose “Offtherecord Messaging” in
your app.  This will only cost you $0.99 USD, it is usually $4.99 USD

If you want to know some more technical details about OTR, please refer to the following link
http://www.cypherpunks.ca/otr/otrwpes.pdf

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