This week’s news that WhatsApp has come to the table with an encryption offering can be perceived as a positive move for the industry, but the reality is that they’ve simply adopted a messaging app to try to become a security app.
The key difference between Pryvate™ and WhatsApp is that we set out with the intention of developing a suite of totally secure communication services from the get-go. Other products have bolted on security as an afterthought, whereas Pryvate has been built from the ground up as a specialist communication application with encryption at its core.
WhatsApp’s public statement said: “The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us.”
However, statements like this are indicative of the rush of messaging platforms wanting to retrospectively include encryption technology within their apps. This has the potential to provide end users with a false sense of security in applications from perceived ‘big name’ providers. The reality is that many of these platforms roll out a form of encryption that is more secure than not having anything in place, but does not equate to the higher levels of protection that are available or required by consumers and businesses.
True end-to-end encryption solutions built from the ground up and offering top-of-the-line RSA 4096-bit encryption, like the Pryvate™ application, allow all business and personal communications to remain totally private and free from hacking. We don’t and will never store keys on servers, and these keys are never visible to us – WhatsApp has freely admitted that it does have access to keys. Every key generated by conversations on Pryvate™ is unique and secured by real-time end-to-end encryption.
If a Pryvate™ user is not online then they’re not contactable and no key will be generated. Messages are stored on their phone until a contact comes online, and then a key is generated and sent. Using this system every key generated by conversations on Pryvate™ is unique, built on a strong sandbox environment and secured by real-time end-to-end encryption. The application offers truly seamless independent, network agnostic security, combined with high quality of service at a low cost.
WhatsApp also uses ‘derived keys,’ which implies that it operates at least some form of temporary storage, where WhatsApp has some access to keys before a conversation is initiated. This is a real concern as it creates a possible gap in security or potential loopholes that hackers could exploit. The keys are stored on the devices but no mention is made of them ever being deleted, they not even mention how the private keys are generated.
Pryvate’s device-to-device encryption approach ensures that, critically, our application holds no access to encryption keys and no records of any communications between users. All encryption keys are generated within the user’s app on their device and are automatically thrown away once used with another 4096-bit key generated for each communication session – nothing is seen or held.
Pryvate™ is also crucially available all over the world; anti-blocking technology enables communication despite tough firewalls and aggressive operators, in contrast to other messaging platforms which are banned by nation states. The application offers truly seamless independent, network agnostic security, combined with high quality of service at a low cost.
To summarise, the key differences Pryvate™ offers in comparison to WhatsApp and other messaging applications on the market are:
|Pryvate is an exciting new network agnostic encryption solution delivered as an app that allows all business and personal communications to remain totally private and free from hacking.||WhatsApp is an Instant Messaging app trying to be an alternative to SMS, and now has Voice calling functionality and has end-to-end encryption|
|Live, fully encrypted voice calls||Yes||No|
|Fully encrypted voice and video conferencing capabilities||Yes||No|
|Fully encrypted email communications||Yes||No|
|Anti-blocking mechanism that tunnels through firewalls||Yes||No|
|A business corporate product||Yes||No|
|Industry leading RSA 4096-bit encryption keys||Yes||No|
|Impervious to ‘man in the middle’ attacks||Yes||No|
|Utilise unique keys for every communication||Yes||No|
|Encrypted communications in locations where VoIP and IM are otherwise impossible||Yes||No|
|A non US-based company that is free of governmental jurisdictions||Yes||No|
Whilst we will always encourage other service providers to think encryption first, all communication through Pryvate™ is already totally secure and impervious to hacking – we have designed the application to exceed users expectations and help people feel secure in their personal mobile communications at home, at work and while travelling.