Since the creation and launching of modern smartphone, many users has been concerned about the security of calls. In 2010, both Moxie Marlinspike and Stuart Anderson addressed these security issues of Android mobile phones by launching an app for Google Android mobile phones called RedPhone.
The first voice over internet protocol or more known as VoIP, RedPhone was the first program that allowed its users to have an end to end encrypted phone calls between users.
In 2011, Twitter got their skilled individuals to improve their own security as well through acquiring Whisper System wherein two of its owners has worked for them. When they took RedPhone offline, numerous complained as many protesters had used the mentioned VoIP during the Arab Spring.
In 2012, Twitter re-released the RedPhone as free and open source app with a general public license version 3 (GPLv3).
In 2013, Marlinspike left Twitter and developed an open-source, Whisper Systems which is considered as a continuing development for a sister app of RedPhone, TextSecure. This project of Marlinspike was funded by donations and grants. With the goal of making mobile devices secured, in 2013, it has been revealed that these types of apps are essential and are now considered as a necessity to keep communications private, protected and secured.
In 2014, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EEF) tested and reviewed RedPhone app and they gave the mentioned app a 7 out of 7 score. This means that they found the app highly encrypted that even Open Whisper Systems could not read the messages. Through RedPhone, users are able to verify the person they are speaking with. Aside from RedPhone, Signal Private Messenger and Open Whisper Systems’ TextSecure also got 7 out of 7 score from EEF.
Private Calling with RedPhone
Now that we have an idea of how RedPhone came to market, we shall now test and examine the app. RedPhone is similar with Google Voice and Skype wherein they are all identified as VoIP which sends your phone calls and messages through the use of WiFi and/or mobile data. The only difference between RedPhone, Skype and Google Voice is that RedPhone encrypts your entire call from one end to the other end which you could use for everyone on your contact list. In other words, if you are using a regular dialer and the other person uses RedPhone, you will be asked that you will need to encrypt your call by installing and registering your phone with RedPhone. To register your phone, all you have to do is the following:
- Download RedPhone app through Google Play store.
- Tap install and check accept the Terms of Service by picking accept. This will prompt the app to download and install the app on your device.
- Take note if you do not agree to the terms, the installation and downloading will be canceled.
- Configure and setup the app by registering your phone.
- Enter your country code and phone number and tap on register.
- This will prompt the app to send you an SMS message that includes a 6-digit code that will verify your registration. If you did not receive it you could select hear 6 digit voice code and verify your registration.
Once your registration has been verified, you could now use the app to make calls. All you have to do is open the app and select the person you would like to call on your contact list. If the person you are calling is using Signal or RedPhone, then your call will be encrypted and to know that your call is encrypted, you will see orange words on your screen which says your connection is secured. If it does not say that your connection is secured, this means that the person you are calling is not using RedPhone or Signal which means your call is not secured.
RedPhone comes with few features and basic option and they are the following:
- – Allows its users to use their contact list.
- – Shows frequently called contacts.
- – Allows its users to use a dialer if the person they are trying to call is not in their contact list.
To setup the encrypted VoIP channel, RedPhone app uses ZRTP protocol and AES-128 CBC for encryption of calls and data. This protocol has been developed by Phil Zimmermann. This mentioned protocol is also being used by Silent Circle for Silent Phone app. Furthermore, the RedPhone app also offers forward secrecy features where new keys are always given and generated for each and every call. This means, that the risk of having these future keys compromised is small.
Designed for mobile devices, RedPhone uses audio codecs and algorithms that are tuned to mobile networks. With speed and Open Whisper Systems in mind as well, this app has servers in about 10 different countries. The app also uses push notifications which will ensure that it does not eat too much of your device’s battery life.
Open Whisper Systems is a team of volunteers that takes care of secured mobile privacy apps. They take care of TextSecure, Signal and RedPhone. The Red Phone app is considered as a secured cross-platform communication tool that offers and turns regular calls into private calls. This app uses WiFi or mobile data internet. In featuring, examining and testing this app, we have found out that the RedPhone app is highly secured for business calls. It uses ZRTP protocol and AES-128 CBC mode to ensure that all your calls are highly encrypted. It is coded and is an open-source as
well. We highly recommend that you use RedPhone to ensure all of your communication is encrypted, private and secured