Difference between revisions of "XMPP E2E Security"

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Revision as of 18:21, 16 October 2018

This page aims to provide an overview, comparison and evaluation of existing and proposed end-to-end security solutions for XMPP, after providing the characteristings of the XMPP setting with regard to communication and the security of it.

Proposals

XEP-0384: OMEMO Encryption (Signal / Text Secure)

Recommendation: Implement.

OMEMO is based on the Signal double ratchet and provides forward secrecy, compatibility with history retrieval for devices that are already part of the ratchet, and a number of other benefits over legacy encryption mechanisms. It has had an independent third party audit (see related links at bottom).

XEP-0027 (legacy PGP)

Recommendation: implement only if compatibility with legacy clients is required.

One of the first proposals for end-to-end security is based on PGP and described in XEP-0027.

The way XEP-0027 uses PGP, it doesn't provide protection from replay attacks. It also only encrypts messages and doesn't sign them, so they could be replaced with different correctly encrypted messages on the wire.(Source: chat in xsf@m.x.o) Thus it has been obsoleted by the XMPP Council in it's meeting on 2014-03-12.

OTR (Off-the-record Messaging)

Recommendation: implement only if compatibility with legacy clients is required.

OTR is a crypto protocol, specifically designed to secure instant messaging conversations.

Comparative Overview

Proposal Security property Communication patterns Compatibility with XMPP
Authenticity Integrity Encryption Forward secrecy Malleable encryption One-to-One Groupchat Online chats Offline messages Multiple resources Discovery of support
XEP-0027 No (messages only encrypted, not signed) No Yes No N/A Yes No Yes Yes Yes (if same keypair at all resources) No
OTR Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No

Related Documents

Discussion

If you have any questions or comments regarding this page, please join the XSF chatroom at xsf@muc.xmpp.org.