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  • Chris Bratton - Tech Journalist

Encrypted messaging platform Signal 'fully back up': Outage resolved after insider battle

The popular messaging platform "Signal" is now fully back up after a hosting outage. Rappler hosting outage caused the encrypted messaging platform trusted by 1.7 million users to go offline, which raised many objections. The program is supported by a broad community and follows an open-source model of development.

Twitter acquired whisper Systems, developer of "Signal", in late 2011, and since then, it has received massive support from the community allowing open-source license (GPLv3). Several new releases came upon the app's beta version, with features such as encrypted messaging, which was quite advanced for its time.

Signal in a tweet on Monday, "Messaging ha recovered for 99% of users, but we are still working on the remaining 1%." It received over 1300 reports within late Sunday as Downdetector tracked the outage in real-time. They also said about 43% of the issues were reported directly through the app, while the other 36% was sending messages. 21% or the rest of the users were having a problem with server connection, causing panic among regular users.

On July 6, 2021, the app released a new beta containing payment options and performance enhancements. It also had bug fix and mute settings. For users of the UK, it was made available at first, to send and receive payments via a privacy-oriented system directly to the person you're chatting with.

Signal specifically said, "those in the United Kingdom living life of the edge, please help us test and give feedback." Payment's network focuses on MobileCoin, which has a currency of its own called MOB. The Git repository was Forked 93 times till then, with options to send payments directly to friends and family. The community received it warmly though there were user complaints of not getting the opportunity to try it outside the UK.

'Full backup' Signal messaging platform outage happened due to technical difficulties with which we all are pretty familiar. A service may go offline for various reasons; one of the most common is server maintenance and updates. Others can be to tackle a breach, administrators go the extra mile and shut down all communication with the servers. They come back online right after it's been patched, and we can find notes on socials, service blogs about the outage. As it is not a mainstream channel that many users are familiar with, a dedicated user-base stakes a lot on this platform.

Though the platform has many features, encrypted messaging interests many, its payment system also has a dedicated user community. Even Signal doesn't have access to user balance, transaction history or funds, making it a much simpler and secured payment gateway.

The app has a dedicated knowledge channel discussing tech, cybersecurity, financial and advertising market. It is an exciting venture carried out by the same company behind an encrypted messaging platform. WhatsApp, Telegram is two of its biggest rivals though they have a different revenue stream than Signal.

Cross-platform centralised encrypted instant messaging service was initially developed by Signal Technology Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC, a non-profit technology organisation eager to process easier ways of communication in the digital era.

During Signal outage, Robinhood, Google's Nest, Reddit, Tinder also was facing similar issues. Still, there is no explanatory discussion if it was the exact reason for every platform. Among other messaging apps, besides secure encrypted communication, Signal offers auto removal of messages after a time frame, which had a collision with WhatsApp's features.

Though their encryption protocol is similar to other media, Signal's workflow remains the gold standard of privacy.


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