Facebook Deploying Encrypted, Self-Destructing Messages

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2016-07-11 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: Facebook tests 'secret conversations,' self-destructing messages; Apple releases iOS 10 beta to the public for testing; European member states approve Privacy Shield agreement; and there's more.

Apple iPhone 7 Users Report 'Hissing' Noise That May Prove Innocuous

DAILY VIDEO: "Hissing" iPhone 7s reported, but that may be a normal noise; Microsoft delivers Version...

Google Smartphone, VR Headset Expected to Debut at Oct. 4 Event

DAILY VIDEO: Google expected to unveil smartphone, VR headset at Oct. 4 event; Ellison claims...

Samsung Says Green Charging Light Hallmark of Safe Note7 Handsets

DAILY VIDEO: Samsung Note7 recall update: How to ID a non-defective handset; Oracle launches a major...

Google to Roll Out Allo Messaging App on Sept. 21: Report

DAILY VIDEO: Google reportedly launching Allo messaging app Sept. 21; Intel, GE partner to make...

iPhone 7 Plus So Far More Popular Than iPhone 7

DAILY VIDEO: iPhone 7 sales patterns contrast with those of iPhone 6 and 6s; mobile carriers unveil...

Apple Says iPhone 7 Sales Start With Some Models Already Sold Out

DAILY VIDEO: Apple says some iPhone 7 models are already sold out; Qualcomm pushes for more dual...

Apple Says It's Fixed iOS 10 Bug That Disabled Some iPhones, iPads

DAILY VIDEO: Apple's new iOS 10 update disables iPhones, iPads for some users; Samsung to limit Note7...

Apple Delivers iOS 10 Ahead of iPhone 7 Arrival

DAILY VIDEO: Apple releases iOS 10 just before iPhone 7 arrives; official recall of Samsung Galaxy...

Google Working With Huawei to Build 7-Inch Tablet: Report

DAILY VIDEO: Google rumored to Be Planning Huawei-Built 7-Inch Tablet; Bing Update Asks Smarter...

Google to Label Sites That Don't Upgrade to HTTPS as 'Non-Secure

DAILY VIDEO: Google to start labeling as non-secure sites that use HTTP; Dell and HPE CEOs debate the...

Read more about the stories in today's news:


Today's topics include Facebook's latest Messenger feature that will allow for "secret conversations," Apple's release of the iOS 10 beta for public testing, the approval of the Privacy Shield agreement by the European Union, and the new Patchwork advanced persistent threat that is targeting thousands of Southeast Asian organizations.

Messaging apps have become a major online communication platform, a trend Facebook joined two years ago when it bought WhatsApp Messenger for $19 billion. While the WhatsApp branding is fading, the functionality continues to evolve at a high rate.

Like other messaging apps, Facebook's Messenger is cross-platform and allows users to exchange messages without paying for SMS services as they might on a phone. This includes video, image and audio messages as well.

Messenger's newest features include a "secret conversations" option that will also allow users to place a self-destruct timer on messages. The specified messages will be so encrypted that even highly credentialed employees at Facebook won't be able to snoop.

While the final version of Apple's iOS 10 mobile operating system won't debut until fall, the beta is now available for the public to test. The iOS 10 beta was launched as a part of the company's public beta program, which lets users test-drive upcoming software releases and provide input.

Any Apple hardware user with a valid Apple ID can participate in the Beta free of charge. However, since the software isn't a final release, Apple recommends users install the beta of iOS 10 only on noncritical devices and remember to back up devices before beginning installation.

Also released was the public beta version of macOS Sierra, Apple's upcoming operating system for its Mac computers.

European Union member states approved the final version of the Privacy Shield agreement between the United States and the EU on July 8. This marks the final step before the agreement is formally adopted by the European Commission, expected this week.

The Privacy Shield, which replaces the former Safe Harbor agreement, aims to protect the privacy of EU citizens as potentially personal data flows between the EU and the United States and while that data is stored in the United States.

The new agreement follows on the realization, via documents leaked by former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden that the Safe Harbor agreement was frequently ignored. The new Privacy Shield aims to correct this.

Security firm Cymmetria discovered a new advanced persistent threat that it has dubbed Patchwork. The name alludes to the fact that the APT code has been copied and pasted from a variety of other known threats and online forums.

The threat has been active since December 2015, according to Cymmetria, and has affected 2,500 organizations and government agencies in Southeast Asia.

The attackers designed a targeted spear-phishing email with an attached PowerPoint file. The APT then infects in two stages: First, the attackers seek any valuable information, then they deploy additional malware to gain more access.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel