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Saturday, November 18, 2023

Nothing’s iMessage clone pulled from the Play Retailer over safety considerations


Nothing Chats, the iMessage clone that the corporate launched earlier this week, has been pulled from the Google Play Retailer. The official reasoning is “a number of bugs” that the corporate wants time to repair earlier than launching it once more after an indefinite time period.

Nonetheless, there may be sufficient proof to help the concept the app was pulled not on account of “bugs”, as Nothing places it, however somewhat on account of some evident safety points.

In line with a radical technical evaluation by Texts.com creator Rida F’kih and Twitter customers @batuhan and @1ConanEdogowa, Nothing’s service supplier Sunbird was caught mendacity in regards to the end-to-end encrypted nature of the messages being routed by means of its servers.

As was disclosed earlier than, signing up to make use of Nothing Chats required singing into Sunbird servers utilizing your Apple ID, which had been run on a Mac mini working a digital machine. Messages despatched to the servers are encrypted, as claimed by Sunbird. Nonetheless, because the aforementioned authors found, the JSON Net Tokens or JWT that the service generates are despatched once more unencrypted over to a different Sunbird server with out SSL, permitting them to be intercepted by an attacker.

Furthermore, the messages are decrypted after which saved on the Sunbird servers, permitting an attacker time to entry them earlier than the consumer does. Texts.com demonstrated this by sending a number of messages between two gadgets and intercepting the JWT, which give them entry to the Firebase realtime database. From that time, all it took was 23 strains of code to obtain all consumer info and conversations.

The creator additionally offered a web site the place a consumer with ample data of the code will have the ability to intercept their very own messages after they ship messages between two gadgets, one in every of them working the Nothing Chats app.

To be clear, the privateness concern is instantly Sunbird’s fault. Nonetheless, by selecting to work with the corporate, Nothing has additionally implicated itself into the matter. Furthermore, addressing this somewhat grave state of affairs as “bugs” was extraordinarily dishonest.

We must see in what state the service resurfaces when Nothing decides to place the app again on the shop. It goes with out saying that you simply most likely should not be logging right into a third-party service’s servers along with your Apple ID within the first place, even when it was encrypted. However it particularly appears pointless now with Apple asserting RCS help.

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