Exploring End-to-End Encrypted Messaging with Rolf Oppliger

At Artech House, we ask our authors what problems their books can help readers solve. In this series, we share what our authors aim to do in their writing. Read on to find out what Rolf Oppliger, who wrote End-to-End Encrypted Messaging, had to say:

What are some problems your book can help readers solve?

The book introduces and overviews the technologies used for end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) messaging on the Internet. It starts with OpenPGP and S/MIME, explores some evolutionary improvements, and mainly addresses modern approaches, like OTR, Signal, WhatsApp, Threema, iMessage, Telegram, and many more. The aim of the book is to provide a comprehensive summary and overview about the state-of-the-art in E2EE messaging on the Internet.

The field of secure messaging has changed fundamentally over the past few years.

  • Purely text-based messaging had been replaced or at least complemented by multimedia messaging, simultaneously comprising text, voice and video;
  • The asynchronous nature of messaging (e-mail) had been replaced or at least complemented by synchronous messaging called instant messaging;
  • People had realized that hybrid encryption and digital signatures are not the only cryptographic techniques in town, and that certain use cases require other techniques and properties, e.g., forward secrecy in encryption and plausible deniability instead of nonrepudiation;
  • The distributed and open nature of Internet messaging had been challenged by large companies providing centralized and proprietary solutions and messaging services (that are very convenient to use).

All of these changes have led to new approaches for secure messaging that is nowadays called end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) messaging. Protocols like OpenPGP and S/MIME are being replaced by protocols like OTR, Signal, WhatsApp, Threema, iMessage, Telegram, and many more. The book provides a comprehensive summary and overview about the state-of-the-art in this field.

What are some problems your book can help readers solve?

  • Understand the problems related to secure and E2EE messaging on the Internet.
  • Understand the rationale behind the design of OpenPGP and S/MIME, as well as protocols like OTR, Signal, WhatsApp, Threema, iMessage, Telegram, and many more.
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of the various proposals for secure and E2EE messaging on the Internet.
  • Put the proposals and respective protocols into perspective.

What are the features of your book and the specific benefits a reader can expect to derive from those features?  

  • Feature: Provide an overview about all technologies that are available for secure and E2EE messaging on the Internet.
  • Benefit: Reducing time to get involved into the current state-of-the-art.
  • Feature: Provide an overview about the relevant literature.
  • Benefit: Again, this reduces the time needed to compile the relevant standards and articles.
  • Feature: Provide an assessment about the potential of the different technologies available in the field.
  • Benefit: This helps prioritizing R&D efforts in the field.

Please name the audiences at which this book is aimed. How will this audience use your book?

  • Audience/Job Title: Researchers in industry and academia
  • How will this audience use your book? They can use the book as an introduction into the field of secure and E2EE messaging on the Internet.
  • Audience/Job Title: Implementors and software developers
  • How will this audience use your book? They can use the book as a reference and introductory text.
  • Audience/Job Title: Managers on a CIO level
  • How will this audience use your book? They can use the book as an advice to invest in specific technologies.
  • Audience/Job Title: IT practitioners
  • How will this audience use your book? They can use the book as a handy reference that puts all technologies into perspective.

 

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