Security

Secure-messaging app Wickr offers security tools for other social apps

Wickr Nico Sell

Above: Wickr co-founder Nico Sell

Image Credit: Meghan Kelly/VentureBeat

Self-destructing messaging startup Wickr rolled out a new business-to-business “security suite” today that will let other social media and messaging apps take advantage of its security technology.

Wickr‘s app lets you send messages in many different forms (text, photos, images, and videos), but differs from other competitors thanks its security. The encrypted messaging data is tied to a specific device, rather than a person or a user account, and that data can be set to “self destruct” once you finish a conversation. Wickr claims that its security is far more reliable than other self-destructing message apps, because it uses end-to-end encryption. The startup was recently in the news after raising a $9 million round of funding.

The move to start selling a security suite to outside developers is a smart move, considering all the trouble those apps have with keeping user data secure and away from prying eyes. Rather than base its business model on competing with well-established messaging apps, Wickr is going to start offering its seemingly superior security tech to others as an alternative way to generate revenue.

“Wickr’s Security Suite enables apps to offer proper online communications and self-destructing data, making the Internet ecosystem stronger overall,” said Wickr cofounder Robert Statica in a statement.

The suite contains six separate tools developers can use to strengthen the security of their apps. Developers have the option of licensing tools separately, or as a package, according to Wickr. Below is the company’s description of each of those tools.

Timer – In the future, all information will have an expiration date.  Sometimes users want information to live forever, but this should not be the default.  Wickr’s patented technology enables any app to have self-destructing data.  We have done a good job as a society inventing cyberspace.  Now we need to add cybertime to create a stable universe.

Friend Finder –  Apps can now offer their users a way to contact without uploading and storing sensitive contact books.  Wickr’s patent-pending technology creates a cryptographic hash that is sent to the servers.  We call this bacterial app growth because it is beneficial to society.

Anti Spammer – Popular apps must always deal with spam.  Wickr’s patent-pending Block List enables users to be in control of who is in their inbox.

Key Manager – Social media apps can now offer their customers truly private messaging.  Wickr’s patented technology seamlessly exchanges a different key every message that is created on the user’s phone.  This is called Perfect Forward Secrecy, the standard used by spy agencies.

Anonymizer - Apps that collect UDID and geolocation are not anonymous.  Wickr’s patent-pending Anonymizer deletes metadata and proxies communications to offer public billboards that are anonymous even to hackers.  This also enables apps to offer services to kids under 13.

Shredder – When you delete a picture on your phone, it is not deleted.  Wickr’s patent-pending Shredder deletes everything in the trash and cleanses the phone.


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