Facebook Messenger implements End-to-End Encryption

Pierluigi Paganini July 09, 2016

Facebook Messenger Starts Testing End-to-End Encryption with Secret Conversations, it is already available for a limited number of users.

Facebook is planning to use end-to-end encryption for its Messenger app and has begun rolling out the feature.

Facebook has called the new feature ‘Secret Conversations’ and will allow Messenger users to exchange messages that no one will be able to eavesdrop.

Facebook is testing the feature, the social network giant has enabled it only to a small number of users and is planning to extend the feature to all its users later this summer or in early fall.

“To enable you to do this we are starting to test the ability to create one-to-one secret conversations in Messenger that will be end-to-end encrypted and which can only be read on one device of the person you’re communicating with. That means the messages are intended just for you and the other person — not anyone else, including us. Within a secret conversation, you can also choose to set a timer to control the length of time each message you send remains visible within the conversation. Our technology uses the Signal Protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems. You can read more about the technical details here.” reads the announcement published by Facebook.

The Facebook Messenger Secret Conversations will implement the Signal Protocol, which is the same used by WhatsApp, Google in Allo’s Incognito Mode, and Signal’s standalone app.

Messenger end-to-end encryption

Be aware, conversations on Messenger will not be end-to-end encrypted by default, like WhatsApp, instead, Facebook users will have to enable it.

Secret conversations will be protected by end-to-end encryption and conversations will self-destruct after a certain period of time.

Secret conversations, differently from Messenger, will not allow users to send GIFs, images, videos, or make payments in secret conversations.

Every chat in secret conversations can be viewed only on a single device, this means that if you start chatting your mobile Messenger app you will not able to continue it on the web browser and vice versa.
Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos confirmed on Twitter that the end-to-end encryption on Messenger was just “small test for now.”
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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –Facebook Messenger, end-to-end encryption)

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