After the announcement of Nothing Chat, Nothing’s effort to bring iMessage to the Nothing Phone (2), the company announced that it was pulled from the Google Play Store stating that its launch would be delayed due to ‘bugs’.
Nothing Chats Delayed Launch
What is Nothing Chats?
Nothing recently proudly announced Chats as a means for Android users, specifically Nothing Phone (2) users, to enjoy iMessage capabilities all without switching to iPhone.
In order to do so, the company partnered with Sunbird and used its platform and servers. We recently released an article on Chats, if you’re interested in learning more about it, click here.
What happened with Nothing Chats ‘exactly’?
During the launch, it was assured that account details and messages were end-to-end encrypted. However, technical analyses of Texts.com author Rida F’kih and Twitter users @batuhan and @1ConanEdogowa revealed that it wasn’t actually the case making the ‘due to bugs’ announcement not entirely true.
Chats required you to sign in to Sunbird servers using your Apple ID. These servers were run on a Mac mini running a virtual machine. While messages that are to the Sunbird servers are encrypted, it was found that the JSON Web Tokens (JWT) that the service generates are sent again to another Sunbird server but this time unencrypted without SSL. It is here that attackers can intercept the message and pose a massive threat to privacy.
The messages are also decrypted and then stored on Sunbird servers, giving attackers time to access these messages.
This was tested by Texts.com by sending a few messages between two devices and then intercepting the JWT and giving them access to the Firebase real-time database. From here, they were able to download all the user information and conversations with just 23 lines of code.
The security problem is Sunbird’s problem, but because Nothing decided to work with them, it implicates the company. What’s more surprising is the announcement of the delay due to ‘bugs’ which is far from what is really happening.
We’re uncertain when and if Nothing Chats will be launched after this fiasco, but Apple has also announced RCS support, so it seems pointless at this point.
Ram found his love and appreciation for writing in 2015 having started in the gaming and esports sphere for GG Network. He would then transition to focus more on the world of tech which has also began his journey into learning more about this world. That said though, he still has the mentality of "as long as it works" for his personal gadgets.