Popular "encrypted chat" service Cryptocat contained a vulnerability for 7 months
“Encrypted chat” client contained a flaw that could expose messages
Subscribers who use the Cryptocat program for secure online chat should update their client to the latest version. In addition, you should not rely on the security of any past messages.
The Cryptocat service is a tool used to provide secure, encrypted online chat. However, for the seven months to April 2013, the program had a flaw in the way it encrypted messages. During this time, messages could easily have been accessed by an attacker.
The program has since been fixed to address this flaw, and current versions are considered to be properly encrypted.
The analyst who originally discovered the flaw says versions between 7 May 2012 and 19 April 2013 contained poor encryption. This has been addressed, and the version released on 3 June 2013 is now considered practically impossible to decrypt.
Of course, security and privacy cannot be guaranteed for any software. Using any program involves trusting the developers of that product.
A later analysis by Sophos on the Cryptocat flaw suggests that using the Tor tool in conjunction with Cryptocat may be a better solution.
Updating your software
Vulnerabilities in most software can be addressed by updating to the most recent version of software. If you use Cryptocat, you should update your software now.
The vulnerability was discovered and addressed using a practice known as “responsible disclosure”. Most security analysts and researchers will inform the product vendor of the discovery first, allowing them time to fix their product before making the vulnerability known publicly.
It allows the vendor to release updates for users to apply to their software, usually before, or within a short time of the vulnerability being announced.
Stay Smart Online has information to help with securing your devices and keeping software up to date.
The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone’s circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider.
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This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Department of Communications ('the Department'). It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.
This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.
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