Crooks partial to a little chat

Self-destructing online chat applications are becoming the preferred communication choice of cheats and criminals.

Snapchat and Telegram Messenger have become headaches for law enforcement because they delete messages on phones after a specified time.

“These are a problem, they destruct and you can’t get them back,” said Cyanre CEO Danny Myburgh, who said applications like WhatsApp can be intercepted.

“It makes a handy tool for a cheating spouse,” he said.

Snapchat says they delete messages from the company’s servers. Telegram, which has been around since 2013, destroys messages and is heavily encrypted. The messages can be deleted in seconds.

Myburgh and forensic investigator Jacques van Heerden said criminals are increasingly using online messaging.

Another investigator, Riana Smalberger, said she was seeing an increase in criminals ditching phone calls for online web-based messaging services.

Van Heerden said one way around this is to trick users by getting them to open spyware, which sends back e-mail, which can reveal the perpetrator’s IP address.

“You wonder why someone would want to use such an application (Snapchat). What is it they need to protect?” asks Myburgh.

But according to a survey most Snapchat users are legit and using it simply to chat and send photographs. The researchers initially thought users would use it for privacy-sensitive activities like sexting. Only 1.6% said they used it for sexting.

But while Snapchat does a good job in hiding an illicit affair, human error can unravel all that. Recently media reported how a wife in the UK sent a revealing picture of herself to her husband. There were suggestions the picture was a hoax, but the story goes that her husband noticed a pair of men’s shoes in the photo.

Original Article