How to keep instant messaging off the record

    Date13 Oct 2005
    Posted ByBenjamin D. Thomas
    Sometimes encryption isn't enough to keep your conversations private. With standard encryption, it's theoretically possible for someone to steal your secret encryption keys and decipher the conversation. For conversations that need to be kept confidential, the Off-the-Record (OTR) plugin for Gaim saves the day. It leaves no trace of a conversation ever having taken place.

    OTR was developed by two security researchers, Ian Goldberg and Nikita Borisov, at the University of California at Berkeley. The software provides standard security features like authentication, to ensure you are talking to the person you think you are, and encryption, so no one can tap into your conversation. In addition, OTR introduces two new security concepts to instant messaging -- deniable authentication and perfect forward secrecy.

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