The team of Kyiv-based startup Dober has created the first Ukrainian messenger. The developers emphasize that it is suitable not only for civilian users, but also for the military, thanks to the reliability of information protection. It is planned that in the coming days it will be available for download (free of charge) from Google Play on smartphones. How is this messenger different from those created abroad and popular all over the world? About this “FACTS” Dmytro Oberemok, the founder of the startup, told FACTS.
“White hackers tested the reliability of the messenger”
– All popular messengers are now tied to a user’s phone number or email address, and this reduces the reliability of protecting their information (for example, messages, files that they send via messenger),” Dmytro Oberemok told FACTS. – To use our messenger, you do not need to register with a phone number or email address. You just need to download the application and register: come up with a username and password and enter them. Then write your name and nickname (it will be used to find you in the messenger by other users).
It is important to note that the messenger information (i.e., correspondence, photos, files) is not stored on the user’s phone, but on our server. Communication via messenger is securely encrypted – it is almost impossible to break this encryption even over a very long period of time.
– How did you check this?
– For this purpose, so-called “white” hackers (hackers who are not involved in illegal activities) were involved. They tried to break the data encryption on our server and failed.
The high reliability of our messenger makes it suitable for use by the Ukrainian military. We hope they will be interested in it.
– Did you offer the military cooperation?
– We are now looking for contacts with them. It should be noted here that the military’s information will not be stored on our server, but on the server of the army unit that wants to use our development. The server can be placed anywhere (as long as there is access to the Internet). Administrator (In this case, an officer or sergeant is appointed for this purpose. – Author). will decide who gets access to communication in the system. An important point: if there is a threat that the soldier’s smartphone may fall into the wrong hands (i.e., the threat of being captured), then a factory reset is provided for this case: with one move, you can erase all settings, and no one (neither the enemy nor the owner of the smartphone) will be able to log in to the messenger.
– Have you ever wondered what messengers the military is using now?
– Yes, mostly Signal. He’s a good guy. The ability to exchange temporary messages – messages that disappear without a trace a few minutes after reading them – is especially attractive to the military. But the weak point of this messenger is that it is tied to the user’s phone number.
“Our app for Android phones is ready and is currently being moderated by Google.”
– How did you get the idea to create a messenger?
– The idea was prompted by an accident: at the beginning of last year, there was a short-term failure of Google services. Because of this, gmail did not work. My wife was unable to send work emails. Then I thought: The United States, Japan, and even Russia have their own services for communicating online, while in Ukraine we have only our own e-mail. It was a shame: how are we worse? It is clear that creating something as large-scale as a YouTube analog requires huge investments. So we decided to start with something not too expensive – a messenger.
– What was your first step in creating it?
– We compiled a list of our friends across Ukraine and asked them if they would like to use a Ukrainian messenger and what they think it should look like. It took several months to complete. Based on the wishes of potential users, we began to develop the concept and plan: who should be on the team, where to get funding.
We realized that in order to come up with something completely new for the messenger’s functionality, you need to be a genius or think completely differently from everyone else, like Steve Jobs (unfortunately, the late founder of Apple – Ed.). So we decided to focus on two things: protecting the confidentiality of communication and anonymity (anonymity is what I’ve already mentioned: registration without reference to a phone number or email address).
– How much money do you spend on messenger development?
– Personal. My parents provided part of the required amount by selling some property. We restrained ourselves from buying important things with the proceeds and invested in the development of the messenger. That is, it took the family’s money. Plus, there are funds from team members. In addition, their patience is very important: they receive a much lower salary with us than they could earn in other projects at some other company. Our pockets are not deep, so we are looking for investors. But it is difficult in a war.
– How many users will your messenger be able to serve at first?
– It’s hard to say. We rented servers with a storage capacity of 8 terabytes. Practice will show how many users it will be enough for.
Our application for Android phones is ready and is currently being moderated by Google. I hope that in the coming days, our app will be available for free download to smartphones. The iPhone app will be ready in about a week. For now, you can use our messenger to send and receive messages and share files. But soon it will also be possible to make phone calls.