OTR Encryption


Off-the-record encryption
OTR Encryption

OTR encryption is a type of encryption that is used to protect the privacy of online communications. It is a form of end-to-end encryption that uses a combination of public and private keys to encrypt and decrypt messages. OTR encryption is considered to be more secure than other forms of encryption, such as SSL/TLS, because it is more difficult to crack.


OTR encryption was first released in 2004 as an open-source project. It was originally designed to provide secure communication for the Jabber instant messaging protocol. OTR encryption is now used by a wide variety of applications, including instant messaging, email, and file sharing.


OTR encryption uses a key exchange algorithm to generate a shared secret key between two parties. This key is then used to encrypt and decrypt messages between these parties. OTR encryption also uses a message authentication code (MAC) to ensure the integrity of messages. The MAC is generated using the shared secret key and the message contents.


OTR uses a combination of public-key cryptography and symmetric-key cryptography to encrypt and decrypt messages. Public-key cryptography is used to exchange a session key, which is then used to encrypt the conversation using symmetric-key cryptography. OTR also uses a technique called perfect forward secrecy to ensure that old messages cannot be decrypted if the session key is compromised in the future.


There are a variety of use cases for which OTR encryption can be useful. Some of the most common include:

  1. Securing private conversations. OTR encryption can be used to keep conversations between two or more people private. This can be especially useful for discussing sensitive information or for communicating with someone you don’t trust.

  2. Securing online communications. OTR encryption can be used to keep online communications such as emails, chat messages, and file transfers private. This can be especially useful for communicating with someone you don’t trust or for sending sensitive information.

  3. Securing data. OTR encryption can be used to keep data such as files and documents private. This can be especially useful for storing sensitive information or for communicating with someone you don’t trust.


OTR encryption is a form of encryption that is designed to be particularly resistant to an attack by quantum computers. This is because it uses a technique called "hash-based authentication", which is not thought to be vulnerable to attack by quantum computers.


OTR encryption is provided by a variety of messengers, including but not limited to: Pidgin, Adium, Jitsi, and Signal.


Pidgin is a cross-platform instant messaging client that supports multiple protocols, including AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, and XMPP. The installation package is available in the official repositories.


Adium is a free and open-source instant messaging client for Mac OS X that supports multiple protocols, including AIM, ICQ, Jabber, Yahoo! Messenger, and more.


Jitsi is a cross-platform VoIP and Chat software that supports the SIP protocol. It is written in Java and based on the Openfire instant messaging server. Jitsi is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It can be used to make calls to other Jitsi users, as well as to users of other VoIP services.


Signal is a messaging app that uses end-to-end encryption to protect your privacy. Your messages are encrypted on your device before they are sent, and can only be read by the person you are messaging. Signal also has a feature called "disappearing messages" which deletes messages after a set amount of time.


To switch to OTR encryption, you need to install the OTR plugin for your chat client. After installing the plugin, you need to configure it. For example, in Pidgin, you can do this by going to the Accounts menu and selecting the OTR plugin. Then, click on the Preferences button and configure the plugin to use your desired encryption settings.


OTR encryption is still being developed and improved. One recent addition is the ability to encrypt group conversations. This means that you can have a secure conversation with more than one person at a time. Another recent addition is the ability to verify the fingerprints of other users. This means that you can be sure that you are talking to the right person and that the conversation is secure.


Today, OTR encryption continues to be used by a large number of people and organizations, and will remain an important tool for secure communication in the nearest future.