The Signal app for the Mac is popular for being one of the few secure messaging apps. The premise here is that messages disappear after a preset interval, pretty much like how it works on Snapchat and other platforms. However, a new report is uncovering some issues with the Mac version of the app.
Motherboard references a tweet by Alec Muffett, claiming that old notifications for self-destructing messages appear on the Mac Notifications Center even after the words have seemingly self-destructed. This means that the Mac could save the messages permanently, which is cause for great concern.
The notion was confirmed by Patrick Wardle, an ex-NSA hacker. He said – “If I’m a nation state [hacking] group, I’m now going to code up a ‘grabSignalMessage’ plugin for my implants,” indicating how miscreants would go about exploiting this bug.
On the bright side, however, the bug is not accessible to all. The user will need to have physical access to the Mac or via a remote server. This bug probably won’t affect the everyday user. If you’re too concerned about the bug, you can head over to the app preferences pane, select Notifications and make sure the box which says “Neither name nor message” is checked.
This Edward Snowden-approved secure messaging app broke cover a couple of years ago. It will be interesting to see what Snowden has to say about the app in light of the newfound vulnerability.