The team at Amazon recently announced the closure of Wickr Me at the end of 2023. A free service, Wickr Me was an instant messaging service that supported end-to-end encryption, file sharing, and more. The announcement just over a year after AWS acquired Wickr, and the news came as a surprise to many users.
However, just a week later, the team with AWS announced their plans to make the enterprise version of Wickr Me, dubbed AWS Wickr, available to all users. Although it’s currently only available in the US East region of the AWS platform, additional regions are expected soon.
What Does it Offer?
In an effort to make it easier to setup and manage Wickr, the development team at AWS has also integrated Wickr directly into the AWS Management Console. The various administrative policies can be controlled through the AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) portal, and it’s supported on Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, and Android devices.
But the primary feature of AWS Wickr, like Wickr Me, is the 256-bit end-to-end encryption used for communications. With this level of encryption available, only the intended recipients will be able to view the actual message. Not only does this reduce the risk of man-in-the-middle attacks against your network, but it helps protect against a plethora of other threats, too.
How is it Used?
The original Wickr app, which had been used for approximately 10 years before it was acquired by Amazon, was amongst the first instant messaging services to support end-to-end encryption. It’s been used by journalists, news reporters, and even whistleblowers to share confidential or otherwise sensitive information. Unfortunately, also has is uses in several illegal black markets.
Steve Schmidt, vice president and CISO with AWS, described some of the uses for Wickr by saying: “Public sector customers use Wickr for a diverse range of missions, from securely communicating with office-based employees to providing service members at the tactical edge with encrypted communications. Wickr’s secure communications solutions help enterprises and government organizations adapt to this change in their workforces and is a welcome addition to the growing set of collaboration and productivity services that AWS offers customers and partners.”
While current users can still enjoy Wickr Me until the end of 2023, the platform is no longer accepting new users as of the end of December 2022. After that, those who still want to take advantage of the service will be required make the transition to AWS Wickr.
How Much Does it Cost?
Amazon’s AWS Wickr service is free for individuals and teams as large as 30 individual users for the first three months. However, their standard plan, at a rate of $5 per user per month, applies beyond that mark. They also have a premium plan at a rate of $15 per user per month, which provides additional features.
The Future of AWS Wickr
Although Wickr Me was closed less than two years after it was acquired by Amazon, the future is looking bright for AWS Wickr. With an extended free trial available, multiple pricing plans, and additional features, AWS Wickr certainly has a lot of shelf life remaining.
AWS Wickr Enters General Availability
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