Cryptographic Issues in Part of Securing

Added on - Sep 2019

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<University>SECURING INTERNET BASED INSTANTMESSAGINGby<Your Name>August 12, 2016<Lecturer’s Name and Course Number>Investigate, analyse and discuss cryptographic issues inpart of securing systems and data.<Your Name> 20161of12
Instant messaging allows us to communicate in real-time with text, images, audio,video and digital files for our personal or business requirements. But are they secure?Do the service providers care for user's privacy or something else?<Your Name> 20162of12
SECURING INTERNET BASED INSTANT MESSAGINGIntroductionData is the new oil. The crude oil and the internal combustion engine changed theworld's economy and way of living, and now data is doing the same for all industries,whether high-tech or low-tech(Van't Spijker, 2014). Whatever is valuable, is worthprotecting. We need to transfer data from point A to point B, and we also need to keepdata at rest, and to do both of these securely. Thus, we have protocols, software,hardware and laws for ensuring security and preventing 'unwanted actions ofunauthorized users'(Elçi, 2013).There are many technical ways to ensure security of data and systems namelysoftware mechanisms like encryption, masking, erasure and hardware mechanismslike biometric devices, and techniques like multi-factor authentication.SecurityIn this paper, I will discuss about the security in a recent global phenomenon withwide-reaching personal and business effects - instant messaging, and specifically oninter-platform messengers like WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger, Skype etc.I chose this application for my research on security because of its relevance in ourpersonal lives. You and I both are deeply concerned about the security and privacy ofthe messages we send and receive (andwithwhom) using instant messengers, and soare the 3.5 billion people all over the world(Instant Messaging Statistics Report ,2015 - 2019, 2015). Something is up when the current top third-party app for lockingWhatsApp and chats on Android platform has more than 5 million installs(Play.google.com, 2016). The acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook in 2014(Deutsch, 2015)created a lot of reaction on social media, and this indicates theattachment people have for their favourite instant messengers.<Your Name> 20163of12
Usage of these inter-platform instant messaging apps range from the exchange ofsweet nothings of new couples to routine communication to intimate text and photosin socially disapproved relations to school announcements to businesscommunication. Thus, for such an intimate or a business communication, we desiresecurity for not only the data in motion as it goes from sender to receiver, but also forthe data at rest, as it lies in the device.The threats include snooping partners, business competitors, hackers, terrorists andgovernments. 'In the face of widespread Internet surveillance, we need a secure andpractical means of talking to each other from our phones and computers'(ElectronicFrontier Foundation, 2014).What are the Cryptographic Requirements?We identify two main classes of uses of instant messengers - personal and business.Personal use comprises of an individual user interacting for personal purposes withanother individual or a group who do not have a common mission-oriented bonding,but are more likely to be family and friends(Tyson and Cooper, 2001). Business usemay be described as a corporate or institutional environment composed of many users,but all accountable and working for the mission of the same organisation(Wikipedia,2016).Hindocha and Chien (2016) claim that instant messaging is an up and coming threatas a carrier for malware. They identify the threats as worms, backdoor Trojan Horses,vulnerabilities (like common coding mistakes) or a combination in blended threats.Also present is the risk of involuntary data disclosure as a hacker can obtain data andfiles without the knowledge of the instant messenger. Techniques for hijacking andimpersonation include session cookie attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, networksniffing etc.Thus, we arrive at the requirements for a secure instant messaging system(ElectronicFrontier Foundation, 2014):1.Encrypting data in transit between all links in the communication path.<Your Name> 20164of12
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