The RUWG Instant Message (IM) Community

This is the home of the Oceanos secure messaging network

4 June 2018

We have a very good free video conferencing system here. It is free for you to use. It offers a highly encrypted (secure) way to video chat with people. It does work with nearly all modern browers.

We have another system for those who want to use our system for normal text based messaging but still with an encrypted session. This can be found here. This is normally more for users who want to join dedicated discussions. You need to have an account on our system to use it. Remember to login with your full user name (username@chat.ruwg.net).

For persons who need a web based chat and text application, we offer two types of free solutions. One that uses Flash and one that does not. Always remember that Apple mobile products do not support Flash technology from Adobe.

A new Web based (non Flash) client we use internally is here. This works very well on the iPad but it is a bit small on the iPhones screen. This works nice on a desktop or laptop and is very fast. This client uses a high grade of encryption (AES-256 bit) to our server. As such, it might take a couple of more seconds for the encryption to first set up. This client is not designed to support video or voice chats. You should use a normal device based client like Jitsi or Chat Secure.

We also have a Flash based web version for Windows based users who like Flash solutions (why?). Please note however, that this web interfaces does use Flash technology so it can NOT be used with an Apple iPad or iPhone. Click here for the web based IM access. Also note that this web client does not offer the OTR feature so it is not our first choice due to the lack of end to end security. For security - always run the most current version of Flash. It is free so why not use the most current? Please see this page to check your PC.

Security Comments On Chat systems

We all understand that the various criminal organizations, national governments, media organizations, as well as individuals who just want to read other people's messages now exist in this crazy world we live in. There are a number of steps that you can take to try to greatly reduce the ability of others to intercept your traffic. But remember that there are no perfect solutions but you can still make it very hard (and also expensive) for them to obtain the message by taking a number of actions.

1. The one of the best things you can do is to make sure of the person you are sending a message to in the first place. Will they treat the information you send them with the same level of importance as you do?

2. Assuming you actually trust the the other person, do you trust the company or group that is running the chat server? It has been said that some very large chat providers were giving a near real time feed of messages to their national government (such as Microsoft). While we are much too small for that to happen, you need to think about it.

3. Make sure you are using a secure connection to the chat server. Check your settings to make sure you are using "port 5222". This port is only used to allow users to connect to the system using a Secure Socket connection (SSL or TLS). If it is running SSl version 1-3, avoid this chat system. SSL Versions 1 to 3 are considered no longer secure. You need a chat system that is at least "TLS" version 1.2 or newer.

4. Make sure if you can, that the chat server is using a high grade encryption protocol (some information that has "TLS" and "AES" and the numbers 128, 192, or 256 in it)

5. Once you connect to the person you want to connect with, engage the "OTR" ("Off The Record") security setting in the chat window. This makes sure that the text you send between you and the other person is again encrypted (double encryption). This prevents the chat system operator from reading your messages or sending them off to some national agency in clear form.

6. If you are truly paranoid, you can enable the "TOR" function. This provides a path from your device to our server over a number of different routes that is radom each time you connect. It makes it very hard for the governments or criminals to trace you. It can be done but takes a long time (its not like on TV where it is done in seconds!).

7. Always remember if they (whomever they are) really want to read your messages and have a lot of money to spend on you, they will do it. The best you can do is to make it really hard for them to do it. Generally, the bad guys or the Governments will normally try to attack your device by installing key logging software or modify your device and not the transmission link. Device attacks happen every second of the day. Ensure you have anti-malware software on your device and that you actually test it each day. NEVER open links to web sites you do not know. Look closely at the actual web address and not just the link name. "Best Kitten Photos" name could actually take you to a bad site. Look at where it is actually going before you push the enter key. Use common sense.

Cheers.