Mainstream apps don’t stand up well to security scoreboard

Messaging apps like WhatsApp don’t rate well on security, according to a new scoreboard released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Popular messaging technologies like WhatsApp, Skype and Snapchat did poorly on the EFF scoreboard, which rates 39 messaging tools for their encryption, code auditing and verification of contacts, amongst other things.

The scoreboard, which can be viewed on EFF’s website found that only six of the tools measured met all seven of the criteria, with Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime standing out as the best of the mass-market options. Both scored five out of seven, although neither currently provide complete protection against sophisticated, targeted forms of surveillance.

Messaging options like WhatsApp, Facebook and Snapchat don’t protect the user against disclosure by the service provider, a feature that Apple’s two services do, notes

EFF technology projects director Peter Eckersley says this function is critical and believes that “This scorecard gives you the facts you need to choose the right technology to send your message”, notes

It’s hoped that the scoreboard, which is part of EFF’s campaign championing secure technologies, will encourage companies to up their game. Mr Eckersley notes: “We hope the Secure Messaging Scorecard will start a race to the top, spurring innovation in stronger and more usable cryptography”.

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