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

See all articles by Abdullah Azfar

Abdullah Azfar

University of South Australia

Kim-Kwang Raymond Choo

The University of Texas at San Antonio

Lin Liu

University of South Australia

Date Written: October 14, 2013

Abstract

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

Azfar, Abdullah and Choo, Kim-Kwang Raymond and Liu, Lin, A Study of Ten Popular Android Mobile Voip Applications: Are the Communications Encrypted? (October 14, 2013). 47th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2340228 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2340228

Abdullah Azfar

University of South Australia ( email )

37-44 North Terrace, City West Campus
Adelaide, South Australia 5001
Australia

Kim-Kwang Raymond Choo (Contact Author)

The University of Texas at San Antonio ( email )

San Antonio, TX 78249
United States
+12104587867 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/raymondchooau/

Lin Liu

University of South Australia ( email )

37-44 North Terrace, City West Campus
Adelaide, South Australia 5001
Australia

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