Veteran US Hacking Group Creates New Free and Secure App Framework

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A group of hackers called “Cult of the Dead Cow” (CDC) created “Veilid”- an open-source tool for developers to create apps that respect user privacy and security. It is a coding framework that can be used by app developers who want strong encryption while avoiding revenue and corporate-owned spaces. This group is the oldest and most influential U.S. hacking group that coined the term ‘hacktivism’, which combines hacking and activism.

According to Interesting Engineering, cDc leader Katelyn “medus4” Bowden said “We feel that at some point, the internet became less of a landscape of knowledge and idea sharing and more of a monetized corporate machine… Our idea of what the internet should be looks more like the open landscape it once was before our data became a commodity.”

CDC created Veilid using free apps and services like Signal, which provides strong encryption for texts and calls, and Tor, which allows anonymous web browsing by hiding the user’s location. Their aim as part of this new effort is to provide a basis for apps for file sharing, messaging, and even social networking that all do not harvest any data and are secured by end-to-end encryption.

The group’s idea is for apps to be able to communicate with each other privately and securely over the internet without going through centralized and corporate-owned systems, and participating apps will be able to send fully encrypted content to each other using the Veilid protocol.

Similar to many other open-source projects, the bigger hurdle is to get programmers and engineers on board and have them devote time to creating apps that work with Veilid since the possible income sources are currently restricted by the lack of detailed information that is used to deliver targeted ads or market a product to a specific group of users.

Cult of the Dead Cow began as a group of online storytellers in the 1980s, and many of its original members are now some of the top cybersecurity experts in the field.