Free Encrypted Texting App Provides Face-to-Face Trust

By on Nov 6, 2013 at 4:32 am

Rochester, New York – ClayWare, LLC today is proud to announce the release of TightBeam Communicator 4.0, an update to their free, secure texting app for iPhone. TightBeam Communicator was developed specifically for sending encrypted text messages. In response to growing concern about corporate and governmental eavesdropping due to the Snowden leaks, TightBeam provides a communication channel for the security conscious that ensures better security than other apps of its kind.

Like other secure texting apps, TightBeam uses end-to-end encryption to pass secure messages between users, as well as allowing the option to auto-delete messages. However, TightBeam distinguishes itself from similar products by ensuring even more privacy for its users. This is accomplished by the unique way in which encryption keys are transferred between users.

TightBeam requires two people to be face-to-face to create a secure communication channel and cleverly uses QR codes to transmit a one time secure key between two iOS devices. To create the secure connection, one user generates a QR Code and the other user points their camera at the code. TightBeam then uses the information stored in the QR Code to create the secure communication channel. The advantage of this system is two fold. First, by using the camera, it is very hard for a would-be hacker to intercept the exchange of encryption keys. Second, by creating the secure channel face-to-face, you can be sure the person you are texting with is actually the person you think it is.

“It is important to us that the messages are unreadable by anyone except the intended recipient. Even the developer of the app can’t read the texts,” says ClayWare Co-founder Debra Lewis. “Since encryption keys are transferred between our users in person, this makes texts sent through TightBeam Communicator highly resistant to a man-in-the-middle attack.”

A man-in-the-middle attack is a type of security attack where an attacker relays messages between two people. This type of attack makes people think they are having a private conversation, when in fact someone is eavesdropping.

ClayWare, LLC has chosen to monetize this application with the use of ads. Regarding this decision ClayWare Co-founder and Engineer of TightBeam Lucas Jordan says, “I don’t want users to have to make an account to use TightBeam. I don’t want to know who uses the app. I want it to be impossible for me, or anyone else, to figure out who is talking to who. Ads can be annoying, but they offer an anonymous way for me to make the revenue required to keep this app up and running. The use of ads in lieu of subscription fees also enables more people to take advantage of the security provided by our app.”

ClayWare has published a white paper that spells out exactly how TightBeam works. Security experts looking to find secure products should review this paper. “The way the application works is no secret,” Jordan says. “The only secrets are the encryption keys, and only our users have access to those.”

Other features that ensure secure communication include: no centralized message repository, no centralized certificate authority and the fact that in order to prevent eavesdropping the connections are not established over wifi, cellular or Bluetooth.

Version 4.0 fixes a crash, offers an improved layout with better integration with iOS 7, quicker QR scanning and a new logo.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
* Requires iOS 6.1 or later
* 9.3 MB

Pricing and Availability:
TightBeam Communicator 4.0 is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Productivity category. There is an iOS 7 version in the works.

TightBeam Communicator 4.0
Download from iTunes
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App Icon

ClayWare Games, LLC is a 2010 start-up specializing in both software and accessory solutions for touch-screen tablets and smartphones. All products are designed and made in the USA and support the local economy in Rochester, NY, and all packaging and shipping materials are environmentally-friendly. ClayWare’s co-founders, Software Engineer Lucas Jordan and his wife Debra Lewis, were able to bring the Pad Bracket to market working out of their home as just two individuals. Copyright (C) 2010-2013 ClayWare Games, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.