The encrypted messaging app Signal is wonderful — assuming it works as intended.
That last bit was thrown into question yesterday when Motherboard reported that a quirk of MacOS meant that, if you happened to be using the Signal MacOS desktop app, messages could remain on your computer even after they had been removed from the app.
Thankfully, that has now been fixed.
The problem was first highlighted by security researcher Alec Muffett, who pointed out on Twitter that Signal messages — even those that should have expired thanks to the app’s Disappearing Messages feature — remained in his MacOS notifications bar.
Obviously, this was bad. It meant that messages you thought were securely deleted could linger on.
While the reasons for this are somewhat complex (check this great report from Objective-See), and there was a workaround in Signal’s settings that could protect you, you don’t really need to stress about it because the nonprofit behind Signal took care of it for you.
As Chief Research Officer at Digita (and legit security sleuth) Patrick Wardle tweeted, a new version of the app was just released that addresses this major weak spot.
New version (1.10.0) of Signal Desktop😊😍
Addresses ‘disappearing’ msgs remaining in OS’s “notification” db
— patrick wardle (@patrickwardle) May 10, 2018
So, make sure your version of Signal for MacOS desktop is up to date and go back to communicating securely. Oh, and enable disappearing messages if you haven’t already.