April 3, 2015

Both businesses and individuals desire privacy and secure communication channels when interacting online. May this be discussing a company secret between board members or a newly discovered competitive advantage, sending a credit card number to a relative or family member to make a purchase online. There are many reasons why we want to encrypt our conversations online.

There are dozens of man in the middle possibilities to intercept communication. From malware at the endpoint to anyone working in Service provider networks. There have been many cases where fraudulent network engineers at ISPs were phishing for credit cards with simple tools like mailsnarf. An engineer needs to enable a mirrored span port on a core or access ISP component and then can run Wireshark or hundreds of other tools. Unfortunately a lot of the traffic is still unencrypted and I personally know of cases where people sent credit card info to friends and family via SMTP/POP3 on Outlook Express. Anyone on route between sender and receiver can intercept standard communication which isn’t encrypted. Simple as that.

Encryption doesn’t have to be expensive and there are a lot of free tools out there. Today we would like to recommend a free open source tool called “Crypto Cat” which exists for many different OS platforms and smart phones. It allows for encrypted chats, sending files encrypted and more.