WhatsApp infringement turns into a competitive advantage to secure Telegram and Signal messaging and calls


NEW DELHI: WhatsApp's global security breaches have turned into a competitive advantage for two other "secure" messaging and calling applications – Telegram and Signal – and this is strongly reflected in India's dialing numbers. Cybersecurity experts say this trend is likely to intensify.

Data from app analytics firm App Annie, based in San Francisco, shared with ET, shows that Signal reached 39th in the category of social networking apps in India at the iOS app store on November 3, from its 105th position. just a week ago.

Similarly on Google Play, Signal reached the 31st position in the communications app category in India on November 1st, a jump from 255th a week ago.

India is the largest WhatsApp market, with 400 million users. But domination now shows cracks. According to App Annie on Google Play, WhatsApp Messenger dropped from number four in the most downloaded communications app category on Google Play last week behind UC Browser, Facebook Messenger and Truecalller.

Security experts said that Telegram and Signal, run by a US-based nonprofit, among others, is considered to have safer features and updates. Rahul Tyagi, co-founder of IIT-Bombay, incubated the cyber-security firm Cyber-Lucideus, saying that an application like Telegram uses MT proto.

The protocol performs many checks on a message that the user receives through various ways of measuring the authenticity of the messages.

"In addition to encryption, it has features like checking the length of the message. If a user sends a 32-character message, it will also verify whether the user received the 32-character message or not. When I send a message, Telegram puts a unique number sequence in each message and when an end user receives that message with the serial number to verify the authenticity of the user. These are things that are checked each time you send a message so you can understand the level protection offered, "he said.

"At the top of this layer, they give you a number of features such as the option for self-destruct messages, where you can set a timer, for example for 15 seconds or 30 seconds, after which your messages will be deleted. The problem with WhatsApp is that in terms of design the security is not so intense, which makes it vulnerable to hacks Many security experts have even been removed from the telegram to the signal, as the level of encryption and the mechanism "The protection is even better. There has been no news that Signal has been compromised so far. The beauty of the signal is that it will give you the same level of security for the TV call as well," Tay added.

Sanchit Vir Gogia, founder and CEO of Greyhound Research, said after the WhatsApp breach that his company did a "consumer quality survey" to measure emotions and determine if users would be attracted to other applications.

"Terrorism with WhatsApp is not new. The most up-to-date users have questioned the security and authenticity that has been with WhatsApp for some time now. But it has become more intense after the revelation. as this is the easiest and best known option, while the most advanced users will find Signal very quickly. I see more people moving to Telegram than Signal, as Telegram is more user friendly, while Signal is not very well known as yet. It is still a brand "the Gogia said.

Cyber ​​expert Gautam Kumawat, who has trained various state police departments on cyber security and cybercrime, cited features such as the disappearance of conversations shortly and the possibility of sending heavier files to telegram.

"If you save something to WhatsApp if you go to the memory of your phone, but Telegram has cloud storage which means that all text, images and documents are stored in the cloud and there is no need to back up files. WhatsApp restricts sharing in size. "

Neil Shah, director of Counterpoint Research, adapted the use of Signal in India to "a few hundred thousand" monthly active users, while the use of Telegram was estimated at 35-40 million active monthly users. "Applications will gain popularity, though they remain undefined compared to WhatsApp due to strong network impacts and the fact that most users are still immune to privacy concerns in India," he added.