Paper 2021/498

SoK: Multi-Device Secure Instant Messaging

Antonio Dimeo, Felix Gohla, Daniel Goßen, and Niko Lockenvitz


The secure multi-device instant messaging ecosystem is diverse, varied, and underrepresented in academia. We create a systematization of knowledge which focuses on the challenges of multi-device messaging in a secure context and give an overview of the current situation in the multi-device setting. For that, we analyze messenger documentation, white papers, and research that deals with multi-device messaging. This includes a detailed description of different patterns for data transfer between devices as well as device management, i.e. how clients are cryptographically linked or unlinked to or from an account and how the initial setup can be implemented. We then evaluate different instant messengers with regard to relevant criteria, e.g. whether they achieve specific security, usability, and privacy goals. In the end, we outline interesting areas for future research.

Available format(s)
Cryptographic protocols
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
secure messagingmulti-deviceinstant messagingprotocolsmessengers
Contact author(s)
antonio dimeo @ student hpi de
felix gohla @ student hpi de
daniel gossen @ student hpi de
niko lockenvitz @ student hpi de
nl @ nikolockenvitz de
2021-04-19: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Antonio Dimeo and Felix Gohla and Daniel Goßen and Niko Lockenvitz},
      title = {SoK: Multi-Device Secure Instant Messaging},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2021/498},
      year = {2021},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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