Viber is an excellent software that allows you to make free calls and send free messages to anyone you want.
However, if recent reports are true, Viber is not all that safe and does not do much to protect your vital information from falling into the wrong hands. This online chat app does not use any encryption to send images, texts, and videos. It stores these online and then moves them to an address that is available publicly and can be accessed by anyone.
The Need for Security
With the recent spate of events in which the US government was caught snooping about private information of citizens of various countries, it has become all the more important for technology firms to make sure that all communication that occurs using their technology is safely encrypted and protected from prying eyes. This is an onus that they take on themselves when they ask for private information from users, and it is their responsibility to ensure that this information is never misused.
The Security Breach
In their recent research, researchers from the Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group of the University of New Haven have found that Viber uses open transmission for all data exchanges. So whether it is images, videos, or simple texts, these can be easily made available to anyone with the right knowledge of technology. By intercepting traffic, various devices, the data, and links to its locations can be found very easily. Though it is not very easy to get your hands on this data, but armed with the right hacking knowledge and technology, getting to this unencrypted data can be a piece of cake. In addition to hackers, this data is also easily available to mobile service providers, internet providers and even operators of wireless access points. In addition to sending unencrypted data, the researchers found that Viber also stores all this private communication between users on their private servers, which can be accessed by anyone with the proper knowledge. The communication is stored on these servers for at least a week before being destroyed. This is a large enough window for any of this information to fall into the wrong hands and be misused. This is a glaring security loophole that can lead to a lot of security breach.
Viber has made no claims on the security breaches. Technology watchdogs are insisting that people should know about these security loopholes. This will allow them to exchange information carefully and make informed decisions about which technology to use and of how to use it till this problem is resolved. The company has also stated that they have already resolved the issue and the solutions they have come up with are still being tested for quality assurance. They are also insisting that they will be releasing the new patch that fixes the encryption by early next week for both Android and Apple. However, the developers also claimed that so far none of their users has been affected by this breach in their security.