Signal users report encryption errors; Company claims chat security unaffected
Signal, the privacy-centric messaging service, spent long hours battling a global outage last weekend. The disruption is reported to have been caused by a high influx of new users. The company tweeted confirmation that the outage might have caused the app to display encryption errors, and demonstrated how users could temporarily fix the errors themselves until an update is rolled out.
Signal tweets two-step fixes for Android and iOS
On Android, the "Bad encrypted message" error can be fixed by tapping the hamburger menu button and selecting "Reset secure session". On iOS, the "Received message was out of sync." error can be fixed by tapping the "Reset Session" button below the error message pop-up. Signal claimed that these issues were caused by a bug and will be fixed in the next update.
Signal's infographic on Twitter detailing temporary fix
On Android if you see "Bad encrypted message," tap the menu in the top-right tap "Reset secure session." On iOS tap the "Reset Session" button below "Received message was out of sync." The errors do not affect chat security will be automatically fixed in the next app update. pic.twitter.com/dgLGLZS3zB— Signal (@signalapp) January 17, 2021
Signal claims encryption errors do not affect chat security
Signal went down globally on January 15 at around 8 pm IST. The service took 24 hours to resume. Despite buckling under high user volume, the non-profit messaging platform thanked users on Twitter for their continued support as it grows at a fast pace. Since the outage, some users have reported chats displaying error messages. Signal assured that the encryption errors don't affect security.
Signal founded by WhatsApp co-founder; Operates on charitable donations
For the uninitiated, the Signal messaging service is overseen by the Signal Foundation in Mountain View, CA. The messaging service was incorporated as an LLC by Moxie Marlinspike and Brian Acton in 2018. Brian is known for co-founding WhatsApp and giving the Signal Foundation its initial $50 million donation. Signal prides itself for being privacy-centric and completely open source.
People sympathize with Signal outage; WhatsApp still bleeds users
Being a non-profit organization, Signal thanked users for their patience and donations during the outage, as the latter keeps it running. The messaging platform's transparency and timely updates seem to have offset the impact outage had on the app's reputation. Meanwhile, Facebook-owned WhatsApp continues to lose users following a controversial ToS update and lack of clarity and transparency about its privacy policies.