James Bond-style Redact Secure Messenger: app that can wipe sent messages from receiver's phone could help British spies

British firm in bid to get the UK government's GCHQ to give its first-ever approval to an off-the-shelf smartphone app

British spies could be offered a James Bond-style smartphone app after a UK company devised what it believes to be the world's first totally secure messaging service.

The secret technology uses complex ciphers to send heavily encrypted messages from one iPhone to another without passing through any central servers - and is being offered straight off the shelf for £3.99.

Designers are so convinced by its levels of security that they have challenged hackers to crack its codes and have offered a £10,000 prize to anyone who can intercept a message.

It is hoped the app, designed by the British firm Redact, based in Geneva, could become the latest asset in the world of espionage.

The company has already offered its Secure Messenger service for free to MPs and submitted the technology to CESG, the Government's National Technical Authority for Information Assurance, which provides advice on the security of communications and electronic data.

Redact is confident its technology is more resistant to hacking attempts than other systems in use.

It believes no off-the-shelf app has ever been granted CESG approval before.

A message on the Redact website reads: "We're confident that the messages you send via the Redact app are completely secure.

"To prove it, we are offering a standing reward of £10,000 to anyone who has the skills to intercept and decrypt a challenge message, which constantly bounces between two phones in our challenge location."

It has promised to give anyone willing to take on the challenge a head start by giving them the location of the phones.

The Redact app is designed so any messages - both sent and received - can be removed from both handsets at the touch of a button with no method of recovery.

If one user chooses to erase a message, it will also be eradicated from the sender or recipient's device and apparently deleted forever.

Redact said: "All instant messaging apps store messages you're sending to your contacts.

"No matter how securely these messages are saved, they're vulnerable to hackers or government subpoenas.

"Redact stores no messages, contact information or usernames so there is no information to be stolen."

The company said its app would never asks for a user name, email or phone number and that a customer's real name could never be accessed by their contacts.

Instead, anyone using the app would be assigned a unique pin number which is never stored.

Redact added: "There is no recovery tool for hackers to exploit. Only you can change your alias, so you can be certain contacts aren't using your real name anywhere in the application."

The firm said it was developing the technology for phones that use Google's Android operating system.

Currently the app can only work between iPhones.

Would-be hackers can submit an application to take on the Redact challenge at http://www.moderndayturing.com.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Salesforce / Reports / CRM - North London - NfP

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger & Credit Control Assistant

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...

Recruitment Genius: Project Administrator

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Administrator is requ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn