Signal to Ditch SMS/MMS Messaging on Android

Main driver for the change: "Plaintext SMS messages are inherently insecure."

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

October 17, 2022

1 Min Read
Image of a hand and a padlock signifying security -- in the foreground of a Signal messaging app
Source: Ink Drop via Alamy Stock Photo

Private messaging app Signal plans to discontinue the ability for Android users to send and receive plaintext SMS and MMS messages with the Signal app.

The app developer cited its priority of providing security and privacy to users for the decision — as well as protecting users from surprise messaging bills from their mobile providers and providing an overall more streamlined and clear user experience.

"The most important reason for us to remove SMS support from Android is that plaintext SMS messages are inherently insecure. They leak sensitive metadata and place your data in the hands of telecommunications companies. With privacy and security at the heart of what we do, letting a deeply insecure messaging protocol have a place in the Signal interface is inconsistent with our values and with what people expect when they open Signal," the mobile messaging app provider wrote in a post late last week.

The phaseout will occur over the next few months, and Android Signal users will receive notifications on how to export SMS messages and select a default SMS messenger, as well as how to invite users to Signal who texted them via SMS. 

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Dark Reading Staff

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