Recently, the non-profit organization Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) compared the security of the most used chatting services as Viber, WhatsApp, Skype, SnapChat, Hangouts and Facebook and the chatting services failed completely. For example, Skype from Microsoft which is one of the most used communication services enabled for NSA direct access to users’ data according to WikiLeaks. The reaction on a variety of eavesdropping scandals and leakages of private or confidential information covers not only entrepreneurs, but also common users of the Internet as all of them are searching for safer ways of communication. Slovak startup Animalous.com is an alternative to foreign communication services which was created with the purpose to ensure the privacy of users and to cut off government agencies and intelligence services. Probably, the most known communication service is MegaChat and the service was introduced by KimDotcom which is known from the Megaupload’s case of data’s storage. Animalous.com offers comparable security, simpler usage, more advanced communicative methods and a higher degree of anonymity.
“We have started to develop the application approximately 3 years ago. At that time, several clients requested us with the special demand as they wanted to secure their company communication. Existing desktop solutions had fundamental pitfalls. They were secure; however, they required demanding and exhausting installation on both sides if users wanted to use the solutions; thus, they were not usable on various devices and from the view of flexible communication they were practically unusable.”, says Szabo, a member of Animalous team. Animalous.com can be used by the internet browsers such as: Google Chrome, Opera or Firefox. Animalous.com does not require installation or registration. Communication is ciphered on users’ side; hence, even we as the sole operator of the service cannot decipher it. From the safety reasons, it is not possible to archive communication or the managing of contacts in the application.
“We want to persuade everyone that we take the protection of privacy on the Internet seriously. Our servers are located in a former nuclear bunker with the highest degree of security in Sweden. One of the main reasons why we decided for Sweden is the fact that Swedish legislative does not allow the submission of any data or information to any other authorities than Swedish and only in a limited extent. On the same servers were hosted WikiLeaks. Whole communication is ciphered on a user’s side, so even we as the operators of service do not have a chance to get to a user’s communication. Moreover, we do not archive anything, so even if we were contacted by any authorities with a request for information, we would not have anything to give them.” adds Szabo.
Not only is communication secured by the standard HTTPS protocol, but also with the strong lower layer of ciphering which maximise the degree of security. The transmission of audio and video via WebRTC technology and the peer-to-peer system (outside of the operator’s servers) is initialized by ciphered connection and ensured by ciphering tools.
The upper layer of ciphering is standard TLS and in the lower layer each message is ciphered by the modern AES-GCM code. Ciphering is based on the exchange of RSA (KEM) private and public keys and sessions.
“The justifiable question of interested persons and users is the security of the system and the accuracy of the implementation of safety tools. That’s why on our websites we will publish the conditions of the competition in which anyone can try to decipher communication or to get to the content of communication. We will offer an interesting financial reward. And this is how we want to prove the security of our system and to dispel all doubts.” adds at the end Szabo