Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bit Chat v4.5 Released

Technitium Bit Chat is a secure, peer-to-peer (p2p), open source instant messenger designed to provide end-to-end encryption. Primary aim of developing this instant messenger is to provide privacy which is achieved using strong cryptography. It can be used over Internet and private LAN networks for instant messaging and file transfer.

Bit Chat v4.5

Technitium Bit Chat version 4.5 (alpha) is available to download from the main website and via automatic update mechanism for existing installations. The software checks for new update automatically with every start but, you can also use the Check For Updates option in the main menu to get an update instantly.

Bit Chat v4.5 Released

The latest update includes many protocol level changes which are not compatible with previous versions, due to this, all peers will need to update to the latest version to be able to chat. The latest version fixes some bugs and adds new features that are mentioned below:

  • Private Chat Invitation feature allows you to invite any online Bit Chat user to chat privately. This feature provides much needed initial contact mechanism to add contacts. The working mechanism relies on DHT and thus requires at least one DHT node available globally to work on the Internet. The feature works without DHT on local LAN networks to directly send invitation message to peers on the same local network. It may take a couple of minutes for the invitation message to reach the peer over the Internet. You can manage the invitation feature options from your Profile Settings.

    Private Chat Invitation

  • Group Image feature allows setting a custom image to group chats. Any user in the group can update the image and the latest image is automatically synced across all other peers in the group.

    Group Image Viewer

  • Change Shared Secret feature is now available from chat properties to allow peers to decide and set a new shared secret easily without having to create a new group.

  • You can now Mute chat to avoid getting message notifications using the Mute option in the chat list context menu.

  • New message view interface shows each message in a separate bubble for a better user experience. Shared files are also listed as messages in the view and allows you to access all file sharing options via the context menu.

  • You can now share an already shared file in one chat to all other chats by using Share With option in the file sharing context menu.

    Share File With Option

  • Message Delivery feature let you know if the message was delivered to other peers using tick icons at the bottom of each sent message. You can also view detailed message delivery info from the Message Info option in the context menu.

    Message Delivery Info

Know more about Bit Chat by reading Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Bit Chat whitepaper. You can also view Bit Chat source code on GitHub and compile Bit Chat client yourself.

And as always, send your feedback to support@bitchat.im or write your comments below.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Bit Chat v4.2 Released

Technitium Bit Chat is a secure, peer-to-peer (p2p), open source instant messenger designed to provide end-to-end encryption. Primary aim of developing this instant messenger is to provide privacy which is achieved using strong cryptography. It can be used over Internet and private LAN networks for instant messaging and file transfer.

Bit Chat v4.2
Technitium Bit Chat version 4.2 (alpha) is now available to download from the main website and via automatic update mechanism for existing installations. The software checks for new update automatically with every start but, you can also use the Check For Updates option in the main menu to get an update instantly.

Bit Chat v4.2 Released
The latest update includes many protocol level changes which are not compatible with previous versions, due to this, all peers will need to update to the latest version to be able to chat. The latest version fixes some bugs and adds new features that are mentioned below:
  • Profile Image feature added to allow user to set a custom profile picture which is visible to all other peers.
    Bit Chat User Profile Viewer
  • Messages Store implemented to store all Bit Chat messages locally in an encrypted format so that, you don't lose all your conversations and don't have to worry about the security of the stored messages. All messages are stored securely using AES 256-bits encryption algorithm and can only be read using the profile password.
  • Bit Chat now fully supports IPv6 protocol and implements local peer discovery using IPv6 multicast.
  • Proxy settings have new Socks 5 (Tor Network) option to allow quick configuration.
  • Go Offline feature added to allow you to disconnect a private chat or chat group without having to delete the chat by leaving it.
  • Bit Chat Portable feature allows you to use Bit Chat without installing it on your computer. You can keep copy of the portable binaries on removable media like USB drives and carry Bit Chat with your profile to any other computer.
Know more about Bit Chat by reading Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Bit Chat whitepaper. You can also view Bit Chat source code on GitHub and compile Bit Chat client yourself.

And as always, send your feedback to support@bitchat.im or write your comments below.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Technitium MAC Address Changer v6.0.7 Released

Technitium MAC Address Changer v6.0.7 is now available for direct download and via Automatic Update. You can download the latest version release from this direct download link or via this official torrent.

Technitium MAC Address Changer

The software will check for update automatically as per a fixed schedule. If you want the update before the automatic update triggers, just start the software, click on Help > Check For Software Updates menu to get it done instantly.

This update fixes following issues:

  • OUI file update from IEEE.ORG fixed by updating file parser due to changes in the published file format.
  • Fixes error handling while reading IPv4 information.
  • Fixes some UI components that were getting distorted for some users.

You can read help topics for getting answers to common queries.

For any queries or issues related to this release, just post a comment below. You can also send screenshots of the software to support@technitium.com for feedback.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Bit Chat v4.1 Released

Technitium Bit Chat is a secure, peer-to-peer (p2p), open source instant messenger designed to provide end-to-end encryption. Primary aim of developing this instant messenger is to provide privacy which is achieved using strong cryptography. It can be used over Internet and private LAN networks for instant messaging and file transfer.

Technitium Bit Chat version 4.1 (alpha) is now available to download from the main website and via automatic update mechanism for existing installations. The software checks for new update automatically with every start but, you can also use the Check For Updates option in the main menu to get an update instantly.

Bit Chat v4.1 Released
The latest update includes some protocol level changes which are not compatible with previous versions, due to this, all peers will need to update to the latest version to be able to chat. The latest version fixes some bugs and adds new features that are mentioned below:
  • HTTP Proxy support now added with existing Socks 5 proxy support.
    Bit Chat Http Proxy Config
  • Kademlia based Distributed Hash Table (DHT) now supports using both UDP and TCP (via proxy). The TCP protocol support allows peers who are using proxy to use the DHT feature.
Know more about Bit Chat by reading Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). You can also view Bit Chat source code on GitHub and compile Bit Chat client yourself.

And as always, send your feedback to support@bitchat.im or add comments below.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How To Register Profile & Get Started With Bit Chat

Bit Chat is an open source, instant messenger, base on peer-to-peer technology that allows people to chat with each other by directly connecting via a secure TCP based protocol without any 3rd party server in between. The TCP based protocol implements end-to-end encryption to allow people share information securely. Due to the peer-to-peer nature of connectivity, it becomes necessary to have some sort of method to identify and verify the person you are chatting with.

For this reason, Bit Chat uses a profile certificate (a digital certificate) which is issued to each user after email address verification. This allows peers to be identified by their email address.

The profile certificate is exchanged with each peer that you chat with. It contains all the details that you enter during the registration process and hence its recommended that you keep your information brief enough to allow other users to identify you.

Profile Registration

Profile registration is a one time process that you need to do for using Bit Chat. On starting Bit Chat for first time, you will get a welcome screen. Click on the Register Now! button to proceed with registration.

Bit Chat Welcome Screen
If you already have registered a profile and want to use it on another computer, you can export the profile file from existing computer and import it using the import profile option in the welcome screen.
Bit Chat Profile Registration
Once you proceed with new registration, you will get a Profile Registration window shown above. Enter your details in brief so that your peers can identify you. As mentioned earlier, all the information provided in this registration form will be visible to your peers. Your name, email address and country details are required fields and you can choose to leave all other fields empty.

You must not use email address alias for registration since, confirming your email address requires you to be able to reply to the confirmation email with the same email address provided during registration. Any mismatch in the 'From:' email address will not be considered for email verification.

You may wish to hide your IP address during registration by using the Enable Proxy option which can be configured to use any available Http or Socks 5 proxy server including Tor. Alternatively, you can also use any of the anonymous VPN services.

The profile registration process generates a RSA 4096 bit key pair which is used for generating and verifying digital certificate. The key can be automatically generated by Bit Chat or alternatively you can use tools like openssl to generate a key in PEM format and import it using the Import custom RSA 4096-bit key pair option.

The profile data is stored on your computer as a separate file. Since this file contains your RSA private key and your registration details it becomes important to store it securely. To protect the profile data it is encrypted by AES-256 encryption using a profile password. This profile password is not stored anywhere and cannot be recovered in case you forget it. It is important to use a strong password/passphrase and memorize it. In case of forgetting this password, you will have to register a new profile using the same email address.

Once you have completed filling all the necessary information, accept the terms and conditions after reading it and click on the Register button to proceed. It may take a while for the registration to complete since there might be a delay due to generation of RSA key pair on your computer. Once the registration request is submitted to the server, you will get an email for verification.

Bit Chat Profile Registration
The profile certificate is issued by the server upon email verification. To verify your email address, you need to reply to the verification email that you have received without changing the subject. You don't need to write anything in the email itself for this step. You should make sure that when you reply to this verification email, your From email address must match with the one provided during the registration. Using email address alias wont work for verification.

Bit Chat Verification Email
The email verification process takes a minute or two and you will receive a final email notification which completes the registration process. Upon receiving this notification email, you can click Start Bit Chat button in the registration window to proceed using Bit Chat.

Bit Chat Notification Email
You can view your profile certificate by clicking on your name that appears in the top left corner of the Bit Chat main window. The profile certificate looks like the one shown in the image below. The fields in green indicate that those were verified by the certificate issuer before signing it. In your case, the email address will be green indicating that it was verified successfully by the issuer. You can explore more technical information in the Details tab of the certificate viewer.

Bit Chat Profile Certificate Viewer
You can now create new group chat or private chat and ask your friends to join you on Bit Chat. Bit Chat does not have any option to directly send a contact request to your friends since we do not wish to know to whom you chat with. You can invite your friends by sending them details by email or via another instant messenger.

For any queries leave a comment below or send an email to support@bitchat.im.

Monday, November 2, 2015

How To Configure Bit Chat To Use Tor Network

Bit Chat now has Socks 5 proxy support which can be used to route all the network traffic via Tor network. Tor software provides a Socks 5 proxy service to allow the Tor Browser to access Internet via Tor network which can be used by any application on your computer.
Bit Chat Registration Proxy Option
The Bit Chat registration window allows you to configure a Socks 5 proxy even before creating a profile. To configure Tor, just click on the Enable Proxy check box and you will get a proxy configuration window. Just select Socks 5 Proxy as proxy type, set proxy address as 127.0.0.1 and proxy port as 9150 as shown in the window below. You can click the Check Proxy button to confirm if Bit Chat is able to access the Tor Socks 5 proxy.
Socks 5 Proxy Config for using Tor network
Once you have confirmed the settings, just click OK and proceed with the registration process. Bit Chat will configure the same proxy settings for your profile. If you already have a profile and want to configure Tor, just click the main menu and click Profile Settings. You will find proxy settings which you can use to configure for using Tor.
Profile Settings for using Tor network
You can click the Check Proxy button in Profile Settings window and confirm if Bit Chat is able to access the proxy. Once this is configured, all new network connections will start going through Tor.

Tor network supports only TCP protocol due to which Bit Chat will not be able to use UDP based torrent trackers. You will have to rely only on HTTP based torrent trackers and DHT to find peers.

For any queries write an email to support@bitchat.im or leave a comment below.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Bit Chat v4 Released

Technitium Bit Chat is a secure, peer-to-peer (p2p), open source instant messenger designed to provide end-to-end encryption. Primary aim of developing this instant messenger is to provide privacy which is achieved using strong cryptography. It can be used over Internet and private LAN networks for instant messaging and file transfer.

Technitium Bit Chat version 4 (alpha) is now available to download from the main website and via automatic update mechanism for existing installations. The software checks for new update automatically with every start but, you can also use the Check For Updates option in the main menu to get an update instantly.

Bit Chat v4 Released
The latest update includes many protocol level changes which are not compatible with previous versions, due to this, all peers will need to update to the latest version to be able to chat. New features in this update are mentioned below:

  • Kademlia based Distributed Hash Table (DHT) implemented for allowing Bit Chat to rely less on torrent trackers for finding peers. DHT implementation uses a UDP based protocol to connect to other nodes.
  • Socks 5 Proxy support implemented to allow Bit Chat users to hide behind a proxy. User can even configure Bit Chat to use Tor Network, which provides a Socks 5 interface. However, since Tor doesn't support routing UDP packets, user will have to rely on Http torrent trackers to find peer.
Bit Chat Socks 5 Proxy Config
  • Bit Chat can now act as a TCP Relay for allowing other peers behind NAT to accept connection requests. This should allow two peers to connect with each other via a random 3rd peer. This feature depends on DHT module to find peers to start a TCP relay.
  • Network Info feature added to allow user to get internet connectivity related information including UPnP port forwarding & Socks 5 proxy status information.
Bit Chat Network Info

As the number of Bit Chat users increase, the peer-to-peer connectivity will improve due to DHT and TCP relay features.

Know more about Bit Chat by reading Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). You can also view Bit Chat source code on GitHub and compile Bit Chat client yourself.

And as always, send your feedback to support@bitchat.im or add comments below.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bit Chat v3.1 Released

Technitium Bit Chat is a secure, peer-to-peer (p2p), open source instant messenger designed to provide end-to-end encryption. Primary aim of developing this instant messenger is to provide privacy which is achieved using strong cryptography. It can be used over Internet and private LAN networks for instant messaging and file transfer.

Technitium Bit Chat version 3.1 (alpha) is now available to download from the main website and via automatic update mechanism for existing installations. The software checks for new update automatically with every start but, you can also use the Check For Updates option in the main menu to get an update instantly.

The latest update includes many changes which are not compatible with previous versions, due to this, all peers will need to update to the latest version to be able to chat. New features in this update are mentioned below:

  • One-to-one private chat feature is added in addition to the existing group chat feature. This feature will allow users to do one-to-one secure chat by entering each other's email address and an optional shared secret.
  • Profile certificate registration process now allows you to import RSA private key in PEM format. So, you can use an existing key or generate a new key using OpenSSL and import it.
  • Profile certificate now can be reissued with ease using new Reissue button in profile manager. This feature allows you to make changes to your profile data, keeping the same email address and profile settings intact.
  • Additional authentication feature added in the protocol to verify if the peer has generated the same master key during the protocol handshake.
  • User typing notification feature added to let you know when peer on opposite end is tying message.
  • Copy files and paste it into the message text box to share them instantly.
  • User profile viewer now displays the cipher suite being used to secure the peer-to-peer communication.
  • Improved local peer discovery design implemented to avoid periodic announcements on local LAN. This module allows peers to discover each other over LAN networks to allow communication over private network without Internet connectivity.

And as always, send your feedback to support@bitchat.im.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Bit Chat Version 3.0 Released With Upgraded Cryptography!

Technitium Bit Chat version 3.0 (alpha) is now available to download from the main website and via automatic update mechanism for existing installations. The software checks for new update automatically with every start but, you can also use the Check For Updates option in the main menu to get an update instantly.

The latest version has protocol level updates which makes it incompatible with the previous versions and thus all peers must use the updated version to be able to chat. You wont notice any changes in the user interface (UI) since the changes are only related to the protocol.

The primary aim of this update is to improve the cryptography implementation used in Bit Chat. The newly added code provides strong cryptography with following features:
  • The new protocol (v3) implements Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) using Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDHE_RSA 256bits) and Diffie Hellman (DHE_RSA 2048bits) for ephemeral key exchange mechanism with RSA for authentication using certificate (Bit Chat profile certificate). Mono framework doesn't implement ECDHE algorithm and hence Linux version of Bit Chat can use only DHE algorithm while Windows version of Bit Chat is able to use both the algorithms. AES 256bits in CBC mode is used to encrypt the data as it was in previous protocol.
  • Key re-negotiation feature is added to protocol to negotiate new ephemeral key for data encryption based on time and data transferred. This allows the encrypted data channel to remain always ON while ensuring the protocol security by using different ephemeral keys.
  • Authenticated encryption (Encrypt-then-MAC) is implemented using HMAC-SHA256 to check if the encrypted data was authentic (that is, to check if the encrypted data was modified in any manner while in transit).
  • In addition to profile certificate based authentication, pre-shared key is used to establish the encrypted channel. The pre-shared key used here is the Group Chat password that was set while creating the chat. So, using a password for your Group Chat will improve the protocol security.
  • The security of encrypted profile file (which is stored on your computer and contains your RSA private key for the profile certificate) is also improved by implementing PBKFD2 using HMAC-SHA256 with 200,000 iterations. This implementation will improve security of the file against password cracking or brute force attacks.

The above features updates are in addition to the existing ones listed below:
  • Peer-to-peer architecture similar to how Bittorrent works. Infact, Bit Chat uses Bittorrent trackers to find peers in your group chat. So, you connect directly to peers without any server in the middle! Another advantage is that the data is routed through shortest path, that is, if your friend uses Internet from the same service provider as that of you, then the communication is not going to leave the local network of the service provider. And if your friend is on private LAN network, the communication stays in the private network itself, so you don't even need Internet for private LAN chat!
  • A complete end-to-end encryption with digital certificate (profile certificate) based authentication combined with peer-to-peer network means nobody can snoop on your messages and you can ensure the identity of your friends.
  • Transfer huge files with ease! All peers in the group that participate in file transfer share the bandwidth. It works similar to how files are shared using Bittorrent but, in a close group of users. Also, files transfered are encrypted just like your messages.

The source code is updated on GitHub and you can inspect the TechnitiumLibrary.Security .Cryptography project for verifying the implementation. And as always, send your feedback to support@bitchat.im.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Running Bit Chat on Ubuntu Linux

This post is written for Ubuntu Linux but, you can easily follow similar steps on your favorite distro. Technitium Bit Chat is developed in c# and requires you to have Mono Framework installed on Linux to run it.

Start Terminal and follow the steps below to run Bit Chat on Ubuntu:
  1. Download Bit Chat from the website using wget as shown below.
    $ wget https://technitium.com/download/bitchat/linux/BitChatPortable.tar.gz
  2. Extract the files and run install-mono.sh as root to install mono framework.
    $ tar -xvzf BitChatPortable.tar.gz
    $ cd BitChat
    $ sudo ./install-mono.sh
    
  3. To run Bit Chat each time do following:
    $ sudo ./start.sh
    
The install-mono.sh is not really an application installer. It will just help you to install mono-complete framework and import root certificates. Below is the install-mono.sh file contents if you wish to run the commands manually.
#!/bin/sh

apt-get -y install mono-complete
mozroots --import --ask-remove
If you encounter the below error message during Profile Certificate registration, it means the mono framework's root certificate store is empty. Due to this, mono applications won't trust any SSL certificate and you will see this error for every HTTPS website that gets called by a mono application.
Technitium Bit Chat Profile Registration Error
Technitium Bit Chat Profile Registration Error

To resolve this error you need to import root certificates as shown below:
$ sudo mozroots --import --ask-remove
If you have any trouble installing mono framework the refer to this official mono installation guide.

For any related queries, feel free to comment on this post.