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Viber mobile Application a spying tool?

Posted on 2013-06-13
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Last Modified: 2014-04-14
Hello Xperts,

I have heard from some friends lately that Viber is a spying tool but haven't been able to confirm that and I'm hesitating from deleting it as I have lots of friends on it but recently I've seen lot of articles published in this regard but there's no technical proof about it.

How to check if viber is uploading private information to their servers?

http://www.ultgate.com/2364/viber-made-in-israel
http://viberphoneapp.wordpress.com/
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Question by:Mohammed Hamada
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Harte
ID: 39244950
Not a spying tool, but it was bugged and could be compromised. Here is the official discussion on it.

http://helpme.viber.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/408/59/viber-unlocks-screen
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Author Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
ID: 39245350
Then what's your say on their privacy statement ? do you think it's reasonable ?

the privacy statement have been updated , they only share your information to

(a) comply with the law, or legal process served on us;
(b) protect and defend our rights or property (including the enforcement of our agreements); or
(c) act in urgent circumstances to protect the personal safety of users of our services or members of the public.
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Harte
ID: 39247086
That is the standard legal statement. What they are saying is they will not divulge your stuff unless the government stormtroopers break down the door bearing a court order.

Though given the recent revelations of Edward Snowden, I will say be careful where you tread.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_(surveillance_program)
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Author Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
ID: 39247176
Munterman,
do you think there's away "Technically speaking" to find a proof of hijacking private information to their servers?

thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Harte
ID: 39247896
No. If your info is going to be hi-jacked it will not be from your mobile, where you could detect it. Something like prism will take the information off the server where you, and your server provider, would be completely unaware of it. Somebody hacking your phone will take it off the signal between your mobile and the server (so called 'man in the middle' jack). If you are worried about your data, encrypt it before you store it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encryption

The US government tried to get PGP made illegal because they cannot crack it.

You can restrict the data on your phone that apps access, but social network apps need pretty much open access to your mobile, address books, location etc.

No point in trying to monitor your signal either, there is far too much handshaking going on to figure out what is carrier and what is data. Images and videos require so much bandwidth it should be obvious they are being lifted from your phone, but anything else can be squirreled away.

There are alternatives to viber and I am sure they allow importing of bookmarks. The ultimate sanction, short of not using your mobile, is; Android is open source. Find what protocols that viber uses and write your app. (I cannot speak for iOS).
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Author Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
ID: 39277896
How would you encrypt data on Mobile with PGP encryption? I'd appreciate if there's any guidelines in regard

Thanks
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Chris Harte earned 500 total points
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by:Mohammed Hamada
ID: 39280850
thanks
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