Thursday, November 25, 2010

Self Deleting Text Messages

Self Deleting Text Messages

How to send self deleting SMS according to a computer hacking website that reports "this technique is called SAFE-TEXT. It's a technique where a message destroys itself after being read."

Before proceeding further there are several matters worth mentioning.

Sent flash SMS text messages are not automatically saved and thus delete after opening and closing the message, irrespective of whether the receiving party actually peruses the content or not. It is a technical mechanism included in the technical realisation of GSM and WCDMA. A flash message is technically referred to as a Message Class: Class 0. For a further discussion of flash messages see: Disappearing Sms Text Messages

Fairly recently I wrote about automatic deletion of text message, An app that can be installed on certain mobile phones and attribute a timer to received messages set to the length of time the message can be stored.  That particular discussion though related to the fact of texts being stored inside the application and encrypted so would be outside of the scope to extract and harvest data by handset readers that generate evidence:  Mobile Telephone Evidence Newsletter MTE_Vol7_MTE02_2010

Another option for automatically deleting text messages and a common feature found on smart phones is 'validity period' (not to be confused with 'validity period' for transmission/reception of SMS text messages) where the smart phone user or controller of it sets a storage clear out time for saved text messages or a security policy is set or triggered deleting stored text messages.

In each of the cases above at no time is there any suggestion of something illegitmate occurring or the desire to generate something potentially illegal. Thus, full-circle, we return to SAFE-TEXT. Instead of the actual text being sent to the target user's handset and self deleting thereafter, the recipient is supplied with a mobile internet link and visiting the website clicks the message which can then disappear within seconds. It is not clear, because I haven't tested it out as I only learned of this matter yesterday, whether the web browsing cache in the handset caches the complete activity of the mobile viewed webpage, which may provide an option to replay the message. The full extent of anonymity with SAFE-TEXT is not clear either because a user must "register" for the service and "2. If you’re the sender, the message will show your name and number." No doubt we will learn of reports that will confirm if this is a menace service or not.

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