1 University of Patras (GREECE)
2 University of Patras & CTI Diophantus (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 563-573
ISBN: 978-84-09-49026-4
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2023.0202
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
We present “Sheltered”, a hybrid application which allows pairs of users to securely and privately set-up and make video calls over the internet. No registration or authorization is required. Setting-up the call first requires the generation of a random unique call id. One of the users, say Alice, initiates the process for the generation of a random unique call id which then securely shares with the other user, say Bob. Then, Bob uses this random unique call id to make a private video call to Alice.

We developed an RSA-based scheme for the secure exchange of the unique call id. We also developed a chatting system, which is based on the anonymous (no registration or authorization required) connection of the two users to a previously agreed temporary chatting room. The communication performed within temporary chatting rooms is encrypted using the AES encryption standard and it is not stored after the end of the chat session.

As a hybrid application, “Sheltered” is essentially a web application wrapped-up into a lightweight native application container thus having access to particular native platform features and device hardware. “Sheltered” was developed using state-of-the art web technologies including JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS and frameworks like NodeJS, React and ExpressJS as well as the Ionic framework which, by wrapping native code into a JavaScript API, produces a corresponding mobile app to be distributed via Play Store and App Store.

“Sheltered” can enable secure and private video-call communication and can be useful in critical real-world scenaria including confidential online business meetings, lawyer-client discussions, teleconferences with accountants for the analysis of confidential financial data, doctor-patient online meetings on issues requiring medical confidentiality, teachers-students/family online meetings on sensitive issues requiring privacy and confidentiality. “Sheltered” can also make a useful alternative for users having concerns and skepticism on popular video-call applications or users who simply wish to be able to perform secure and private video calls over IP avoiding registration and risk of interception.
Hybrid app, video calls over IP, privacy, security, RSA-based encryption scheme, AES encryption, NodeJS, React, ExpressJS, Ionic framework.