BitTorrent Bleep – Encrypted, Decentralized Voice & Text App


So after running an open alpha for a while, BitTorrent Bleep is now finally public and official. The whole secure/transient messaging app/platform area is an interesting space, companies have come and gone, some have been compromised and some are still around (Snapchat, Poke, Wickr, Armortext etc).

BitTorrent Bleep - Encrypted, Decentralized Voice & Text App

Bleep requires no personal info, just a nickname and then you can share your Bleep key anywhere you like. There’s a Whisper mode, which is an entry into the transient messaging space – messages are destroyed after 25 seconds.

After an initial pre-alpha release in July 2014, BitTorrent’s peer-to-peer private voice and text app Bleep is finally available for curious Windows, Mac, iOS and Android users to test it out.

The app offers end-to-end encryption of all communication (calls are connected directly), and you don’t have to pay to use it. You also don’t have to provide any information about yourself in order to use it – a random nickname is enough, and a Bleep key will be created to identify the device for other users to be able to contact you.

“Bleep’s logo represents a folded note – a message passed directly, hand-to-hand. In our implementation, we keep messages and the encryption keys for images stored on your local device, not the cloud,” explained Farid Fadaie, head of the BitTorrent Bleep project. “For messages and metadata, there is no server for hackers to target and because you hold the keys, images can’t be leaked to haunt you later.”


The official blog post from BitTorrent is here: Bleep Now Publicly Available Across All Major Platforms

The downside of this, is that it’s not open-source – so the security implementation and claims made by Bleep are not verifiable by the community. This will be a concern for some of course.

The developers have added a “whisper” mode. “For parts of a conversation that you’d like to keep temporary, tapping ‘Go to Whisper’ on your phone sends messages and pictures that disappear from devices after they’ve been viewed (25 seconds),” says Fadaie.

They have also attempted to make it impossible for anyone to take a complete screenshot of a message, as the screenshot will show either the conversation or the nickname of the user, never both.

Of course, it’s difficult to confirm all these claims as the software is not open source.

You can check out Bleep here: http://www.bleep.pm/ – it’s available for Android, iOS, Mac & Windows desktop.

There are good parts too of course, like the fact the keys are not held in the cloud – thus can’t be targeted by hackers. Then there’s the screenshot protection which blurs out the name at the top of the conversation unless you press the “eye” button. If you press the “eye” button, it shows the name but blurs the message – so even with a physical camera you can’t capture it all.

Well you can, just take 2 shots with a physical camera or another phone and splice them together..so yah, don’t believe too much in the security of that.

Source: Help Net Security

Posted in: Countermeasures, Cryptography, Privacy


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