A Study of Ten Popular Android Mobile Voip Applications: Are the Communications Encrypted?
47th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), 2014
10 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2013 Last revised: 1 May 2014
Date Written: October 14, 2013
Mobile Voice over Internet Protocol (mVoIP) applications have gained increasing popularity in the last few years, with millions of users communicating using such applications (e.g. Skype). Similar to other forms of Internet and telecommunications, mVoIP communications are vulnerable to both lawful and unauthorized interceptions. Encryption is a common way of ensuring the privacy of mVoIP users. To the best of our knowledge, there has been no academic study to determine whether mVoIP applications provide encrypted communications. In this paper, we examine Skype and nine other popular mVoIP applications for Android mobile devices, and analyze the intercepted communications to determine whether the captured voice and text communications are encrypted (or not). The results indicate that most of the applications encrypt text communications. However, voice communications may not be encrypted in six of the ten applications examined.
Keywords: Android mobile applications, Mobile Voice over Internet (VoIP), mobile interception
JEL Classification: C88, C89, K42, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation