Hackers create Skype replacement, communication tool Tox “circle”

the 4 chan BBS in most people’s eyes is to share porn, or anti-government picture anonymous photo sharing community, but it is also one of trying to topple the national security agency quality monitoring project site.

snowden reveal the national security agency to monitor scandals last year, members of the site technical BBS began discussing whether to need to develop a more secure voice communication software as a substitute for Skype. Soon they created a chat room to discuss the project, and in storage control code and software development platform on making opened an account, began to upload code.

in the end, the instant messaging system Tox was born, now you can download to the super to use the prototype of the chat tool. The security of online communication tools, is not only a company’s products, but the result of the technical personnel collaborative efforts from all over the world, which is one of the continued effects of the snowden events. This software is not only the instant messaging tool, you can also provide mail services.

but expect Tox can completely protect you from listening, it is too early. Like many other similar software, it is still in The early development stage, but The other security tools, such as instant messaging encryption plug-in Off The Record has been officially unveiled. But Tox has been trying to, want to create a unique security communication system.

a common encryption pipe

Tox team’s main task is decentralized, besides providing encryption, it also needs to get rid of the control of a central server, this is a principle and BitTorrent, it offers users a point-to-point connection, directly chat server does not record any data, so wouldn’t let the cat out of the user information.

there are other developers want to build a safe, point-to-point communication system, such as Briar and Invisible. Im, it is done by the hackers Daniel HD Moore to participate in, HD Moore is one of the popular security vulnerabilities detection tools Metasploit developers. There are other disables voice phone software, such as Whisper Systems and Silent Circle, they prevent eavesdropping by traditional telecommunications infrastructure. Tox is trying to do a point-to-point communication and voice call dual function.

in fact, Tox think further, actually Tox current software is not a terminal level, but an encrypted P2P data transfer protocol. Tox spokesman David Lohle said: “the Tox like a tunnel, safe and secret to another node, what do you want to through the pipeline, that depends on your imagination.” For example, a developer is through the data transmission protocol development a telecom mail substitutes, while other people, is developing an alternative, to replace the peer-to-peer technology in direct synchronizing files BitTorrent Sync between different devices.

to do replacement for Skype

in other words, the core of Tox team is focusing on the function of product development, in order to launch a substitute for Skype. Until now, Tox has 10 different clients, each of which have different functions. Lohle said: “the Tox will be launched in the future a applicable to the current mainstream operating system platform software, but for now, Tox were recommended for everybody only certain client to match your system. Linux and Windows users can choose mu Tox, OS X users should choose qTox, Android users first choice should be Antox, apple users… I’m sorry, the client is not yet developed.”

the mu Tox design is relatively rough, but the interface and the operation is simple and clear. First, download the client, and then it will automatically generate a public key, you can tell to anybody know this key, then you will have a private key, this you have to save ourselves, save on your mobile phone or computer. The following operations and Skype almost the same, you can add each other by each other’s public key to your contacts list, or click on their name to send them a message, or directly click on large ICONS, call each other directly. If you want to change computer use, direct copy document containing your private key and the contact list with respect to OK.

but so far, there are also some Skype has the function of Tox failed to finish copy. Skype can initiate many voice, for example, but Tox text only by way of chatting. And an account cannot be in two places at the same time, that is to say, you want to mobile phones and computers are online at the same time, is impossible. But Lohle said the team has, in theory, solve the problem of the voice of the many, these functions are being developed, will soon be able to meet with you.

he also said that Tox no profit plan, also is not prepared to set up the company. He said: “we all kept all the time to give the Tox, but no one paid, in the team at least ten people said, if not in school, if not otherwise, I would hope that worked for Tox,” in addition, their head can only be reached on the network, completely anonymous, it is difficult to find a person even want to pay. Lohle also said: “we don’t think anyone knows his real name.”

not too smooth

Lohle birthplace of Tox and the relationship between 4 chan was very lightly, he said: “just a few weeks, we began to be self-sufficient, we are in a social news site Reddit and post your recruiting on Hacker news, many players are from these channels.” Distance and 4 chan, this kind of practice, there is a reason, racism, homophobia, misogyny on these 4 chan daily tone, for both the user and for potential future players, what all have no a good guide.

in addition, there are many malicious damage on BBS. For example, has a Tox members are very worried about Tox users will reveal that the IP address each other. Concern about his team made the feedback at once, they use the Onion Routing (Onion Routing) technology, the Tor Project will use this technology to protect the user’s network privacy. But the feedback is still not in time to prevent the skepticism on the BBS, it is hard to say how many of these are from malicious damage, and how many are really reasonable concerns.

do you believe in Tox?

there are few experts have had experience of Tox code, but it is now widely attention Tox use an encryption algorithm called NaCl, a measure of the electronic frontier foundation of Tox senior technicians Jacob Hoffman – Andrews, said: “the NaCl is a library of the latest code, it is a professional design, safety coefficient is very high.”

as a good encryption library, NaCl prices are very low, so the Tox team can save a lot of money, is used to hire a professional security company code audits. “We now rely on the open source community,” said Lohle: “we have about 15 people a day a week every week around the clock every day staring at the code.”


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