CyanogenMod Announces WhisperPush, Secure Messaging Integration

December 9, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

You may remember that earlier this year, Koush had announced that CyanogenMod would be getting an integrated, system-wide secure messaging integration with compatibility from TextSecure. Those that don’t know about TextSecure, it’s an open-source cross-platform client that encrypts your SMS messages both locally and over the air when sending to other TextSecure users. The app is currently maintained by Open WhisperSystems, and their lead engineer Moxie Marlinspike.

For those that don’t know about Moxie, he is a veteran of open source software, cryptography and good encryption practices, and a privacy advocate. He’s also spent time as a speaker at DEFCON on multiple occasions. Moxie has also been the lead engineer on the CyanogenMod implementation of TextSecure. His job is to make sure the CM version is both secure and compatible with his existing services. However, what is unique to CyanogenMod is the SMS middleware functionality. This is the code that allows for their Google Voice integration to work on any messaging application.

CyanogenMod is looking to leverage this for their TextSecure implementation, which means they’ll be able extend the encryption messaging functionality to nearly any SMS application that you decide to use on your device. Your messages to other CyanogenMod or TextSecure users (both on iOS and Android) would be automatically encrypted and secured. Now if you’re texting someone that’s not using TextSecure or CyanogenMod, it will fall back to a regular SMS message. Which means it would be unencrypted.

CyanogenMod is launching their version initially into their CM10.2 nightly stream to test the server load and make sure things are able to work. Once things are dialed in they’ll begin to push it into CyanogenMod 11. CyanogenMod is also making the source code for this public. Similar to what they did with CMAccount. So I’d expect to see it launching in unofficial CM ROMs and Kangs very soon.