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Friday, September 22 • 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Beyond End-to-End Encryption: Threats Models For Secure Messaging

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In an age of ever more sophisticated cybercrime and mass surveillance secure communication is an increasingly rare premium commodity. In this talk we take a look at how the threat model for secure messaging applications has evolved beyond the traditional man-in-the-middle attacker.


We will cover new goals and capabilities of attackers targeting modern communications networks. We will also look at several classes of attacks many of which are already being used effectively in the wild. For these, we will cover the capabilities needed to launch the attack, the effects successful execution can entail.


Some of the real world attacks/vulnerabilities we will touch upon are:

- The account enumeration and hijacking of Telegram accounts in Iran.

- Detecting the language in encrypted text messages.

- Recovering the content of encrypted VoiP conversations.

- HipChat server compromise leading to leak of meta-data and chat logs.

- Invisible rekeying on WhatsApp.

- Widespread lack of even basic privacy in the face of future quantum attacks.

- Browser based attacks on WhatsApp and Telegram.

- iMessage protocol attack

avatar for Joël Alwen

Joël Alwen

Cryptographer, Wickr
A widely published cryptographer with over 10 years of research experience spanning topics such as post quantum, game theoretic and leakage-resilient crypto, blockchain technology and memory-hard cryptography. | Current positions: Cryptographer at Wickr, a secure collaboration... Read More →
avatar for Tom Leavy

Tom Leavy

VP Engineering, Wickr Inc
Employee #0 and mobile application and secure communications architect at Wickr, a secure communications company building end-to-end encrypted ephemeral collaboration tools. Co-designer and lead engineer of the open source initiative “Wickr Secure Messaging Protocol.”

Friday September 22, 2017 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Fiesta 6

Attendees (44)