The Security Vulnerabilities of Message Interoperability
Jenny Blessing and Ross Anderson have evaluated the security of systems designed to allow the various Internet messaging platforms to interoperate with each other:
The Digital Markets Act ruled that users on different platforms should be able to exchange messages with each other. This opens up a real Pandora’s box. How will the networks manage keys, authenticate users, and moderate content? How much metadata will have to be shared, and how?
In our latest paper, One Protocol to Rule Them All? On Securing Interoperable Messaging, we explore the security tensions, the conflicts of interest, the usability traps, and the likely consequences for individual and institutional behaviour.
Interoperability will vastly increase the attack surface at every level in the stack from the cryptography up through usability to commercial incentives and the opportunities for government interference.
It’s a good idea in theory, but will likely result in the overall security being the worst of each platform’s security.