A look into the Mobile Messaging Black Box

A gentle introduction to mobile messaging and subsequent analysis of the Threema protocol.

Roland Schilling and Frieder Steinmetz

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Most of us use mobile messaging every day. We use certain apps that we chose for a number of factors, like our friends using it, good press, privacy promises, or simply their feature sets. This talk aims to enable more of us to reason about the privacy and security of messaging apps. We will try to present simple analogies translating abstract security and privacy expectations into concrete feature sets. We will illustrate these features using the the popular messaging app Threema. Our analysis of its protocol is based on our own reverse-engineering efforts and a re-implementation of the Threema protocol that we will release during the talk.

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