Analyzing locality of mobile messaging traffic using the MATAdOR framework

Quirin Scheitle, Matthias Wachs, Johannes Zirngibl, Georg Carle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Mobile messaging services have gained a large share in global telecommunications. Unlike conventional services like phone calls, text messages or email, they do not feature a standardized environment enabling a federated and potentially local service architecture. We present an extensive and large-scale analysis of communication patterns for four popular mobile messaging services between 28 countries and analyze the locality of communication and the resulting impact on user privacy. We show that server architectures for mobile messaging services are highly centralized in single countries. This forces messages to drastically deviate from a direct communication path, enabling hosting and transfer countries to potentially intercept and censor traffic. To conduct this work, we developed a measurement framework to analyze traffic of such mobile messaging services. It allows to carry out automated experiments with mobile messaging applications, is transparent to those applications and does not require any modifications to the applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPassive and Active Measurement - 17th International Conference, PAM 2016, Proceedings
EditorsThomas Karagiannis, Xenofontas Dimitropoulos
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783319305042
StatePublished - 2016
Event17th International Conference on Passive and Active Measurement, PAM 2016 - Heraklion, Greece
Duration: 31 Mar 20161 Apr 2016

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference17th International Conference on Passive and Active Measurement, PAM 2016


  • Mobile messaging
  • Security
  • TextSecure
  • Threema
  • WeChat
  • WhatsApp


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