GSoC 2019 – Upgrading the Meshenger App – Update 1

Meshenger App

In my previous blog post, I gave an overview of the project, that I am working upon. Since then there has been quite a lot of progress in upgrading the Meshenger app.

Progress Till Now

Since the official coding period began, I started with fixing the existing bugs in the app which were crashing the app. There were quite many of them such as a splash screen issue, a night-mode bug, video-call crash issue etc. Apart from this I also made some UI/UX changes in the app such as changing the About activity of the app, matching the app-bar theme with the status bar etc.

The main thing which I did in Phase 1 of GSoC was to establish a secure authentication at the initial handshake between two devices. For this, I followed asymmetric cryptography to do the authentication work. Firstly, I created a new table in the database of the app to transfer all the data such as settings data, keypair, database version, MAC address from SharedPreferences to that database table of the app. For the key pair generation, I used the Lazysodium library to generate a public key and a secret key in both appA and appB. After generating both the keys, I passed the public key into the QR-Code of both the apps, so as to share it between both the parties. Now when appA makes a call to appB, an offer is exchanged between the apps which had to be to be encrypted and decrypted. For that, I used a nonce(random string), public key of appA and secret key of appB to encrypt the offer(signalling blog/SDP offer) in appB and then I decrypted the encrypted offer using the secret key of appA and the public key of appB in appA. Finally, the authentication was secured and voice and video-calling were established.

Next Steps

The next phase i.e. the Phase 2 of GSoC 2019, will be about achieving the Internet feature functionality in the app which will enable the app to contact people over the Internet as a fallback option.

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