Signal app is specifically designed to make secure and easy-to-use encrypted voice calling. But that’s what the application was providing in its previous release introduced last July with Signal 1.0.
Apple’s iMessage also provides encrypted communication, but it was challenged by security researchers in 2013, revealing that Apple controls the key infrastructure and could, in turn, be compelled to change a key anytime they want, and read the content of your messages.
But there was no way to send secure messages from an iPhone iMessage to an Android phone, or vice versa, unless you signed up for a monthly subscription plan and got the person you wanted to communicate with to sign up for it too.
GAME CHANGER: SIGNAL 2.0
Signal 2.0 allows users to send end-to-end encrypted group, text, picture, and video messages between Signal on iPhone and TextSecure on Android.
"We’re going to unify TextSecure and RedPhone into Signal on Android, release a desktop version of Signal, and keep working to push the envelope of secure protocols and private communication," said Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of Open Whisper Systems on Monday.
- The end-to-end encrypted messaging support added to Signal 2.0 for iPhone is Free and Open Source.
- Besides sending text, images and videos, Signal also supports free calls.
- Signal app doesn’t require a login, usernames or PINs. It uses only your phone number and address book to get you started with end-to-end encrypted texting and calling.
- Signal makes your conversation end-to-end encrypted in such a way that nobody, including the company, can tap into calls or read your conversations.
- Signal also supports forward secrecy, so if an attacker steals your encryption key, they cannot go back and decrypt messages they may have collected in the past.
- With Signal 2.0 release, you can message across iOS and Android (via a third-party app called TextSecure) without any fees or set up.
"We cannot hear your conversations or see your messages, and no one else can either."Washington-based software firm Silent Circle, offers encrypted calling and texting services for a monthly subscription, and is a partner in Geneva-based SGP Technologies which makes the BlackPhone, a security minded device that offers 'PrivatOS' that allows users to make and receive secure phone calls, exchange secure texts, encrypted file storage, secure video chat, and anonymize your activity through a VPN (virtual private network).
- Just verify your device’s phone number through a one-time code that is sent to you via an SMS.
"Every time [Intercept parent company] First Look publishes a story, our installs go up," Marlinspike told Fusion. "It’s well-documented that calls and messages you send over [phone networks] are not private. Things like Signal are a way to have private communication from your phone and also a better experience. Sending media messages to your friends will be frictionless and high quality and a lot better than sending MMS."