Hyper vs Mainstream Messaging Apps
In the world of centralized messaging services, user data and privacy are being compromised on a daily basis. Each popular mainstream messenger app has had issues with security.
WhatsApp has had a multitude of cyber security concerns. Early this year, a bug was discovered in the app which allowed hackers to install spyware on user devices. As recent as last week, hackers have been sending malicious GIFs. These GIFs contain harmful code which allows hackers to access the user’s phone, as described in a recent Entrepreneur article.
Last month, an article about a vulnerability in the Instagram security protocol left millions of accounts and phone numbers accessible to hackers. An attacker could create simple algorithms which allows them to bypass the Instagram login form. Once logged in, the attacker could then cross check phone numbers tied to Instagram accounts. More than 1,000 phone numbers could be accessed each day with one single algorithm. Once this step is completed, the hacker searches for the account name and number linked to the phone number. The hacker then uses a bot to set up a new account which takes advantage of the platform’s “Sync Contacts” feature and can then sync up all the user’s details, phone numbers and contacts through this two-pronged attack.
Last year, USA Today reported that over 30 million users were affected in a sophisticated hack of one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, Facebook. Information such as email addresses, phone numbers, recent Facebook searches, types of devices used, and location history were exposed to these bad actors. As stated by the Federal Trade Commision Commissioner, “These companies (Facebook) have staggering amounts of information about Americans. Breaches don’t just violate our privacy; they create enormous risks for our economy and national security.”
Companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and others, have a large majority of Amerian and international user private data. All of these social media conglomerates have a big target on their back because they hold the key to goldmines of user data. Is there a messaging app that people can safely use that isn’t susceptible to hacks as these mainstream alternatives are?
Peter Strauss believes that Hyper Messenger, a decentralized messaging app built on top of Elastos technology, may be the solution to everyone’s problems. Peter explains the differences between Hyper Messenger and other mainstream apps, “From a technical perspective, Hyper Messenger differs from Whatsapp, Telegram, Viber or Facebook Messenger in that Hyper generates unique public and private keys used for message-encryption locally on the users’ device instead of centralized servers. The advantage of such solution is that no single point of entry to the network exists. In the case of centralized systems, if the server holding the public and private keys is hacked, hackers are able to identify all users and first decrypt, then read all messages in plain text.”
Hyper Messenger is a dApp anyone can use. No central authority can block or ban anyone from joining the network. Hyper Messenger also sets itself apart from the rest of the competition in a privacy sense. Peter explains how privacy is better protected on Hyper, “From a privacy perspective, peer-to-peer networks allow any user to join the network with a randomly generated address that is not tied to any personal data such as phone number, email or any ID. As an example, the same approach is true for Bitcoin address generation.” Hong Kong is a prime example of centralized authorities blocking people from using services to communicate with each other. Hyper and the Elastos Carrier are still in development and need to be audited by experts to test its ultimate privacy and security. If and when Hyper Messenger passes these audits and comes out with its final version, citizens of Hong Kong won’t need to use VPN anymore. Hyper Messenger can be the messaging service they use to communicate with one another without the threat of a centralized authority lurking in the background.
How do the overall features compare with other centralized competitors? Peter explains the variety of options users can tap into using Hyper Messenger, “While still in beta phase, Hyper already allows many features included in common chat applications such as audio, video and file-sharing, live voice and video calls, and soon, in-chat cryptocurrency payments as well. Crypto payments will be authorized through the Elephant Wallet integration to allow maximum security and flexibility.”
Hyper Messenger offers the security, privacy protection, and a plethora of communication features that rivals all centralized options in the marketplace. As Hyper Messenger transforms from beta stage to full-fledged release, the masses are ready for a better and safer messaging solution.