Setting Up And Using Bitmessage – An Encrypted Communications Platform Based On Bitcoin Bit Message

Setting Up Bitmessage

Setting up BitMessage couldn’t be easier. If you’re a windows user click here for the .exe file. If you’re a Mac OS X or Linux user the python code is available through I’ll be covering the basics with Windows here, though it should be about the same with Mac OS X and Linux. Once you’ve opened up BitMessage you’ll need to create an ‘identity’ or two as they’re referred to.


Start by going to the ‘your identities’ tab and clicking ‘new’. You’ll see two options pop up, one that allows you to make a random number generator and another that uses a passphrase to make addresses. I suggest that you use a passphrase to make your address(es) as you will then be able to use these identities on another machine or another installation of BitMessage. If you choose this option you will also have a number of addresses to make, the default is eight.


Once you’ve decided on a passphrase go ahead and find a good place to store it or have something easily remembered. There is no recovery kit for lost BitMessage passwords. You’ll also need the address version number to replicate these addresses on another computer (I also record the Stream number).

Sending And Receiving Your First Message

So you have your client set up and you’d like to actually use this thing. Well if you’d like to send a test message you can send one to me and I’ll send one on back. Go to the ‘send’ tab of the BitMessage client and enter the following address in the ‘to’ field:


Once you’ve done that just choose one of your addresses to use as a ‘From’ address and fill in your test message. Once the message is complete click send. It will take a few minutes for the message to be processed and sent so don’t shut down BitMessage or your computer during that time.


If you’d like to try out the broadcast/subscription feature you can go to the ‘Subscriptions’ tab and click the add button. Enter the same address as above and you’ll receive the messages I send out when I have a decent new post or service to announce.

BitMessage Communities

Given that BitMessage is still relatively young there aren’t too many communities for it yet. If you’re starting out now it’s like that you’re an early adopter. There is a BitMessage forum over at There is also a BitMessage subreddit over at Reddit under r/BitMessage. There’s a lot more that you can do with BitMessage than just what I’ve covered here so play around with it, explore, and let me know what you find!

That’s all I have for now on BitMessage. If you have a story or tip related to BitMessage, Bitcoin, or Encryption send me a BitMessage at BM-NBiuXNcJsaLVgzQozctLEyqGnQFFGY2i


Utilize PGP Encryption For Your Webmail Accounts With Mailvelope


Email is NOT an inherently secure method of communication. Although most of the popular webmail providers now utilize HTTPS connections by default, that still doesn’t mean that your provider does not have access to your message’s contents.

Since most of us now access email through web clients, it would be beneficial to have a way to utilize the convenience of a webmail account, while having the assurance that our correspondence was more secure. If you are a Gmail user, you can try the previously covered SafeGmail, but what if you use another webmail provider?

Mailvelope might be a viable option.

Mailvelope is an extension for Chrome and Firefox that offers free, OpenPGP encryption for many popular webmail providers, including Gmail/Google Apps, Outlook, and Yahoo!. Once installed, you generate your own public/private key pair within the extension’s preferences. After key generation is complete, you will now see a lock icon in the compose window of your webmail provider. Click it to encrypt the contents of your message.

Once your receive an encrypted message, the process will work in reverse. Simply click the lock icon, again, to initiate decryption and enter your password. The Mailvelope service will search your keys to find the appropriate match and decrypt your message.

Keep in mind that no security solution is perfect. If you’d like to explore more about PGP encryption and what Mailvelope can and cannot do, please head on over to their help guide.

Source techedified

New Signal iOS app allows free encrypted voice calls

With concerns about government spying seemingly at an all-time high, a new iOS app allows users to make secure phone calls from one iPhone to another at no cost.



Signal is a new, open-source software application for the iPhone that was released this week. It allows iPhone users to easily make calls — over Wi-Fi and cellular data networks — that are end-to-end encrypted for complete privacy.

The app, which uses the popular open-source ZRTP protocol for voice communication, uses the users’ cell phone number as a login with SMS text verification. There is no password or login required, and the app pulls contact information from the iPhone’s own address book for a more seamless experience.

By default, only users who have already downloaded Signal will show up in the contacts list. However, placing a call to others will send a text message that prompts them to download the free app.

To assure that the call is secure, users are shown a pair of code words on their iPhone’s screen at the start of a Signal call. If the words are the same to both users, it means a secure connection has been implemented. Were the conversation intercepted by a third-party, the words would not match.

Signal is able to make calls to other iPhones using this app, plus Android devices running RedPhone, a similar app for Android devices.

Currently, the app can only make voice calls, but the company says it’s planning a secure text communication component later this year that will be compatible with TextSecure, a secure texting app on the Android platform.

Both TextSecure and RedPhone are made by Open Whisper Systems, the same company that makes Signal, and it said that both apps will be combined into a single Signal app on Android as well. There is also a browser extension being developed.

During testing, the voice quality of Signal was similar to a normal phone call, though with the added benefits (and negatives) of other VoIP calling services. All calls are free, even when made between international destinations.

For business customers looking to ensure that their calls are kept private, particularly when traveling overseas, Signal could be a great solution. The (relative) ease of setup, along with automatic and password-free logins make this a fairly seamless solution for the security-minded user.

Signal uses Apple’s iOS push notification system to notify the user of incoming phone calls, which saves battery life and keeps the app from needing to run constantly in the background.

Of course, there is never certainty when working with allegedly secure communications platforms, but the open-source Signal is open to investigation by security specialists.

The ZRTP protocol is also used by Silent Circle, a similar encrypted text and voice calling app. However, it charges users $20 (USD) per month, while the Signal app is free.

How do you make secure calls on your iOS device? Let us know in the discussion thread below.


Wireshark won’t start and ask for X11 with OSX Mavericks

With the latest OSX Mavericks 10.9 release, Wireshark refuse to open and complain about X11.
First, make sure you have the latest XQuartz installed. It can be found at :
(Make sure to logoff/login again to your session once you installed it.)
Then, if you attempt to open up Wireshark, you’ll end up with a message saying Wireshark cannot find X11 :

Where is X11?

Just select XQuartz manually here :

You might see the Wireshark icon in your Dock, however the window might not be visible yet. Close the program.
Open XQuartz and type the following command:

Wireshark should open normally from now.