Interview With Evgenii Neumerzhitckii
The Developer of AESCrypto.com Answers Questions Sent in by Fun With Cryptography
As Fun With Cryptography continues to expand and achieve our goal of raising global awareness for encryption rights, we’ve been planning some cool features for our members and visitors. One of these features includes interviews with important figures in the cryptography/encryption community. Our first interview is with Evgenii Neumerzhitckii, an astronomy student and the developer of AES Crypto, which is one of the best Android/iOS/Web AES encryption apps available today.
Being that AES Crypto has been our preferred AES encryption/decryption app over here at Fun With Cryptography, we recently sent Evgenii an interview request and were delighted to find out that he was happy to answer our questions via email.
You mentioned in your initial reply that AES Crypto is a simple app you wrote in order to learn how to make iOS and Android apps. What made you decide on writing an encryption app for your first experience learning how to create mobile apps?
The reason I've chose to make this app is because it has a simple user interface, consisting of just single screen with two buttons. This was ideal for me, because it allowed me to make the app quickly and experience all the steps of the native app development, from app design, coding, to release and marketing.
As a kid, did you have an interest in cryptography and encryption? Or perhaps your interest was in computer programming and then learned of cryptography and encryption when you started programming?
I don’t think I had any particular interest in encryption when I was young. I think the interest in computer security came later, when I was about 30. At that time I started listening to Security Now podcast with Steve Gibson and became a big fan of it.
What made you decide to make AES Crypto open-source?
I wanted people to trust the app. Since the whole point of the app is to encrypt sensitive information, I wanted to make the program code publicly available. This way, people can read the code and make sure the app does not steal their information and passwords.
Was there a specific reason why you decided to make AES Crypto encryption/decryption exclusive to itself? (ie messages encrypted with AES Crypto can’t be decrypted with other aes apps)
The AES Crypto app converts the encrypted data in binary format to text format. I was not aware of any standard way of doing this binary-to-text conversion. As far as I could see, different apps used different encoding formats. So there was no single standard format that I could choose to make my app compatible with other apps. As a result, I chose to use HEX encoding, mainly because it produces a continuous stream of letters and numbers without any special characters and spaces, like this: "ed35925d3143d7ea0". The absence of special characters and spaces was important for my app, because it allows people to select the whole encrypted text with single tap on mobile devices. If the encrypted text was not continuous, then it would be hard to copy the encrypted text. This could lead to user mistakes, when people would copy only part of the encrypted message and then be unable to decrypt it.
Are there any future plans/features/updates for AES Crypto?
I'm not planning to add any additional features to the apps. Main reason for this is that I want to keep the app simple, I think this is what makes it special. Another reason: I'm a full time student studying astrophysics now, so I don't really have time for adding new features. However, I will continue to update the apps in case any bugs are reported by the users.
For more information about Evgenii Neumerzhitckii visit his personal website https://evgenii.com
Fun With Cryptography is a worldwide organization dedicated to the mission of spreading awareness for data security and encryption rights.