Thursday, 12 December 2013 10:11

CyanogenMod to include secure messaging


The CyanogenMod project will move to system-wide secure messaging by using an implementation of TextSecure, according to an announcement.

CyanogenMod is a fork of Google's Android mobile operating system; it is free and the source is available as well. It provides ROMs for a large number of mobile devices and is extremely popular. It is now a commercial entity. (Disclaimer: the author has been using CyanogenMod on an LG Optimus P970 since July 2012.)

TextSecure is a product of Open WhisperSystems whose lead engineer is well-known open source hacker Moxie Marlinspike, author of the Firefox extension GoogleSharing (which anonymises data sent to Google while surfing) and lead engineer at Open Whisper Systems.

The company also has a product called RedPhone which provides end-to-end encryption for calls, so that nobody can listen in.

The CyanogenMod announcement said that Marlinspike would ensure that the TextSecure implementation for CyanogenMod was both secure and compatible with the services offered by Open WhisperSystems. It said that unique to the CM implementation was the SMS middleware functionality that also allows for Google Voice integration into the CyanogenMod messaging application.

TextSecure ensures that all messages sent from one device running CyanogenMod to another are automatically be encrypted and secured. The same will occur in the case of anyone using TextSecure.

It will be incorporated into versions of CyanogenMod from 10.2 onwards. If the receiver is not using TextSecure or CyanogenMod, then the message would be unencrypted.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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