Technology Mobiles and Tabs 20 Apr 2016 After WhatsApp, Vibe ...

After WhatsApp, Viber goes with end-to-end encryption

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Apr 20, 2016, 3:56 pm IST
Updated Apr 20, 2016, 4:45 pm IST
Viber has announced their messaging app to have end-to-end encryption on all platforms.
End-to-end security means that data (messages, photos, videos, voice and video calls) is encrypted the moment it is sent from one device until the moment it is received by the intended recipient.
 End-to-end security means that data (messages, photos, videos, voice and video calls) is encrypted the moment it is sent from one device until the moment it is received by the intended recipient.

Viber has announced that they have enabled all their messaging apps on every platform with end-to-end encryption. These will include Android, iOS, Mac and Windows PC. The encryption layer will be an add-on to every voice call, video call, messaging and photo/video sharing across a user and group.

In addition to this, Viber has also added a ‘hidden chat’ feature which will hide specific conversations with a four-digit pin number.

 

‘With the latest release of Viber version 6.0 we have added enhanced security features including end-to-end encryption and authentication. This upgrade brings an additional layer of protection to reassure all users that Viber provides safety from third parties at the highest possible standards,’ said Viber on its support page.

‘End-to-end security means that data (messages, photos, videos, voice and video calls) is encrypted the moment it is sent from one device until the moment it is received by the intended recipient. No middle man - not even Viber. In order to sync to your primary device with this updated security version you must also upgrade your secondary device - Viber for Desktop, Android tablet, or iPad (Viber for Windows 8 will no longer be supported). This assures that all of your conversations and calls receive the same level of security and encryption across your devices’, they added.  

 

Requirements for enhanced security features:

  • Viber for iOS 6.0 or later
  • Viber for Android 6.0 or later
  • Viber for Desktop 6.0 or later
  • Viber for Windows 10

Viber for Windows Phone 8 will not support the new security features. It will continue to secure calls and messages through standard encryption methods.

How is data encrypted?

When referring to end-to-end security encryption, Viber means that any two users can rest assured that they are the only people who are able to read each other’s messages or hear their conversations. Viber's security technology requires two devices to communicate using a secret code instead of plain, understandable text.

 

Only the device sending the message and the device receiving the message has the key to decipher the code. No middle man - not even Viber - is able to read and understand the code. Thus, anyone trying to hack or spy on these communications is unable to and their efforts to hack the code will be futile.

How do you know if your communication is using the latest Viber encryption features?

A lock icon in the Compose field (or lack thereof) will indicate the level of encryption between you and the Viber user that you are communicating with.

 

No icon: the conversation is not using the latest end-to-end encryption technology because the Viber user you are communicating with is not using a Viber version that supports it.

Gray Icon: The conversation is encrypted using the updated end-to-end encryption technology.

Green Icon: The conversation is encrypted. Additionally, you and the other Viber user(s) have verified one another through an authentication process.

Red Icon: The conversation is encrypted with a user that you have previously verified through an authentication process; however, there may have been a breach in the established authentication.

 

A note on message security: Make sure that you are the only person with physical access to your device to ensure the privacy of your messages.  Messages are secured in transit. Once a message has arrived to the recipient, it is no longer encrypted on the device itself and anyone who is in physical possession of your device will be able to read your messages.

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