Wickr is a communication platform that emphasizes maximum security and enterprise-grade communications. Find out how it works today in our review.
What is Wickr?
Wickr provides secure collaboration for teams and enterprises. The platform comes in the form of mobile apps and desktop software. All communication has end-to-end encryption, and the Wickr messaging protocol is open for public review.
Wickr was founded in 2012, with the first release coming as desktop software in December 2014. Today, Wickr software is available for Android, iOS, and desktop platforms.
If you’re looking for a communication platform with maximum security and no private corporation in charge of your data, then Wickr may be the right choice for you. Let’s take a closer look at how it works.
Wickr emphasizes all of the following features:
End to End Encryption: Wickr’s messaging protocol is open for public review and validated by leading information security experts.
Default Ephemerality: Users can control for how long messages and files remain accessible, while the network admin can set company-wide ephemerality rules. If you want messages to disappear almost instantly, then that’s an option. If you want messages to be wiped on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis, then that’s an option too.
Perfect Forward and Backward Secrecy: Wickr is a zero knowledge system with no access to user content. A new key is generated for each new message, file, and call.
User Identity Verification: Wickr Pro enables contact authentication and will always warn users if contacts become unverified.
Network Controls: Businesses can run their own private network with full control over that network. Businesses can control security policies and manage them centrally for all users.
Federation: Users within one Wickr network can communicate with partners in other Wickr networks while still maintaining security and ephemerality controls.
Secure Calling: All Wickr calling is encrypted end to end. It’s also protected with forward security, whether 1:1 or in conference calls.
How Does Wickr Work?
The key technology behind Wickr is the messaging protocol. We don’t go into too much depth about the technical specifications behind the messaging protocol here. However, you can read more by reading the technical whitepaper here. Here’s a general overview of the most important features on the platform and how they work:
Unique Message Keys: With Wickr, each message gets a unique AES 256 encryption key and a unique ECDH-P521 public key to negotiate the key exchange.
Secure Key Exchange: The AES256 encryption key is shared with the recipient via an ECDH521 key exchange, which ensures that only the intended recipient has the key required to decrypt the message.
Header Encryption: An additional layer of AES256 encrypts header parameters with sender specific information.
Content Encryption: The AES256 encryption algorithm scrambles and unscrambles the content in the message between devices.
KDF Binding: Message keys are passed through a key derivation function that binds the key exchange to a recipient user’s device.
Transportation Layer Security: The TLS protocol provides an outer layer of cryptographic protection for app to server communications that are already encrypted.
In layman’s terms, the messaging protocol uses multiple layers of encryption to secure your data and messages – both when they’re at rest and when they’re in transit between devices. Everything from your message to the header to your user name, application ID, and device ID are cryptographically hashed with multiple rounds of salted SHA256.
Who’s Behind Wickr?
Wickr is an American software company based in San Francisco. The company was founded in 2012 by a group of security researchers and privacy advocates. Today, Wickr is best-known for their ultra-secure instant messenger.
Wickr was first released as desktop software in December 2014. The platform promised to offer secure communications and time-sensitive messages. Wickr released its code for public review in February 2017. The platform is available for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Essentially, Wickr is a fully encrypted, self-destructing version of Slack. It’s an ultra-secure messenger where your messages, username, and device ID are wrapped in several levels of encryption. The end result is that nobody but the intended recipient can access message data.
Wickr is geared towards enterprise use. You can learn more about the platform by visiting it online today at Wickr.com.