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Parandroid. Encrypted messaging with Android
For his bachelor thesis Computer Science at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Jeffrey Klardie implemented the idea of seeing-is-believing for key exchange. During this project (which took a couple of weeks) he was supervised by Dr. Bruno Crispo, and Dr. Mauro Conti.
The paper can be downloaded here.
The last couple of years mobile phones went through a great development. Smartphones with email applications, messaging possibilities and location awareness contain more and more private data about end users. Although these users believe their devices are secure, the opposite is true. Telecom operators, governments and even third parties have relative easy access to private information. GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) has been proven to be insecure, potentially compromising the privacy of around 3.5 billion people who use the network.
Parandroid is an application that aims at better privacy for Android owners by providing a secure messaging mechanism. Current security ﬂaws however, prevent it from being a reliable platform. The goal of this project is to remove these ﬂaws. Using the idea of ‘seeing-is-believing‘ we create a secure way to exchange public keys, which are used to encrypt messages. By using a phone’s camera to scan a QR code from one phone to another, the end user can be sure nobody interfered with the data. By proposing the ‘oﬀ-the-record‘ messaging protocol, Parandroid will become a secure and easy to use messaging platform for all Android users.