Skip to comments.CME Group Makes First Investment in Spy-Inspired Messaging App
Posted on 06/26/2014 10:50:04 PM PDT by Citizen Zed
High-tech messaging app Wickr, which promises spy-level encryption, is making inroads with the financial industry.
On Thursday, Wickr announced it closed a $30 million Series B round led by Breyer Capital founder Jim Breyer, with participation from CME Group and Wargaming, a gaming developer. This is the first investment from CME Group, which announced a venture arm earlier this year.
Wickr uses perfect forward secrecy, a type of encryption technology used by spies. With perfect forward secrecy, each message is unlocked using a key generated on the recipients phone. Wickr as a company cant access the messages.
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A key generated on the receipient’s phone.
Well that should be secure.
The NSA or CIA will just set up a proprietary company and buy out the company or obtain a majority of their shares and find an exploit. This is what happens when you give the govt meant too much power. They use taxpayer’s own funds against them by developing more and more high tech tools.
Yes, that’s the problem...smart phones have NSA Inside.
To transfer secure messages you do need...
- To use perfect forward secrecy.
- You need a good source of random bits.
- You need a processor so cheap, ubiquitous and simple that NSA is not going to be inside.
- This needs to be in a small external device..NOT a PC or a smart phone.
The simplest setup is a self contained device that lets you key in short text messages for encryption. This device would then encrypt using a long random key built from a hardware random number source like a noisy diode or transistor junction. The random keys are used to enable connection to another similar device at a remote location using perfect forward secrecy.
The easiest scheme is to transfer the data as a stream of DTMF tones by simply holding the device near your phones mic. On the other end the person you are communicating with also has their device next to their phone.
DTMF is a good choice since phone systems of all types are set up to facilitate DTMF messaging. The keys would of course be ephemeral and disappear forever after every use.
The use of encryption also makes it easy to be absolutely certain you are communication with the device of the person you wish contact with and not another device. It’s a bit technical to go into how this is done but it’s really not difficult.
Using DTMF tones to communicate short text messages securely is slow and cumbersome...but this is what the NSA has brought us to. It’s a lot easier than it was using the old Enigma cypher machines and orders of magnitude more secure.
The cost of such devices would be low...not more than 20 dollars in parts total. They would consist mainly of the following.
1 Cheap ARM processor
1 cheap LCD display
1 coin-cell holder
1 plastic case.
and a few odd discrete parts ..i.e. resistors, diodes..etc
You could use a bottom of the line 8 bit processor paired with two LM567 decoders in place of a faster 32 bit ARM that could handle the tone decoding using an FFT function written in C.
The use of the cheaper 8bit part would make it extremely unlikely there was any NSA funny business going on with the processor’s silicon.
For the extremely paranoid it would be a simple matter to add a few GB of flash to the devices and use the only provably unbreakable encryption method... the one-time-pad. The only drawback is the devices would need to be physically paired together to securely fill the flash of both with identical random bits. The payoff is that even quantum computers could never break a message.... Of course you would have to securely delete the random bits used to send a message from the flash otherwise if the device fell into evil hands they could decipher the messages already sent.