Indian Army Launches Indigenous Messaging App SAI

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Special Correspondent

Indian Army has launched a messaging app, named “Secure Application for the Internet (SAI)” on 05 November that will support an end-to-end secure voice, text and video calling services for Android platform over internet. SAI apps is similar to commercially available messaging applications like WhatsApp, Telegram, SAMVAD and GIMS and utilizes end-to-end encryption messaging protocol.

SAI, which stands for Secure Application for Internet, will be utilized to facilitate secure messaging within the service. SAI scores over on security features with local in-house servers and coding, which can be tweaked as per requirements. The process for filing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) hosting the infrastructure on NIC and working on iOS platform is currently in progress. The application has been vetted by CERT-in empaneled auditor and the Army Cyber Group. Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the functionalities of the app and complimented Col Sai Shankar for his skill and ingenuity for developing the application.

Indian army seriously had been asking for an indigenous secured massaging system for last few years. A directive has been issued because there has been an exponential increase in the number of military personnel being targeted online by intelligence agencies of Pakistan and China. In 2018, IAF Group Captain Arun arrested in Delhi was honey-trapped by ISI spy on Facebook. The officer was honey-trapped through two Facebook accounts was suspected to have passed “critical information,” for few months. He was accused of sending combat related information to his ISI handlers.

An Indian Colonel, who is re-employed at the Army War College in Mhow after retirement, a major from the Rajput Regiment and a lieutenant from the Ordnance Corps have been found guilty of giving out parts of the ORBAT (order of battle) in clear violation of laid-down security protocols.

Considering the overall security aspects, Indian Navy puts ban on the use of Facebook and smartphones within the naval areas.

Why the WhatsApp and other Communication Apps are not fully secured?

  • Mobile Phone Cloning Techniques
  • Servers are not in the user countries
  • Backups are not protected

Recently India has developed indigenous messaging apps considering the security aspects of respective organizations. A comparative study might be noted:

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