Another day, another version of the swadeshi messenger, another chain of complaints from users, and another hasty takedown – it seems yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s plan to launch a home-brewed messaging app which replaces WhatsApp is stuck in circle.
After boasting about the restructured and now encrypted Kimbho messenger which was soft launched (for the second time) on India’s 72nd Independence Day, the app appears to have been taken down again. The app is set to launch officially on August 27 and as of now, it is difficult to tell why it was removed a second time.
उनके सुधार के साथ विधिवत 27 अगस्त 2018 को लॉन्च करेंगे । आपके सुझाव व समीक्षा का हम स्वागत करते है । आओ लॉन्च से पहले ही इस स्वदेशी “किम्भो:” को पूरी दुनिया में गूंजा दे।
स्वतंत्रता दिवस की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं ।
भारत माता की जय ।
डाउनलोड करे https://t.co/rpiao1Tm0T pic.twitter.com/BJEBI8myFE
— Acharya Balkrishna (@Ach_Balkrishna) August 15, 2018
Multiple users were quoted by IANS complaining about the poor implementation of features in Kimbho. For the 5,000 or so who downloaded the app since its relaunch, the UI was seen was a problem, while others have complained about the inability to sign up for Kimbho.
It was also reported that the Kimbho app has a long list of permissions required. It asks for access to contacts, gallery and files, microphone, along with the calendar. Since Kimbho supports voice and video calling, it also asks the permissions for sending and receiving SMSes, making calls, as well as access to call logs and the Device ID.
The information that Patanjali might share with other vendors includes data on the internet usage, or stats related to the links shared by users as well as stats such as the number of clicks, and views.
The app is registered under the name of “Social Revolution Media & Research Pvt. Ltd.” which does not even have its own active website and the current domain, which has a country identifier (.se) for Sweden, points to an inactive Facebook page with just a thousand followers.
Why don’t you try this token to hack, 🙂 this token is not valid, no valid tokens are stored in your reach.
— Aditi Kamal (@KamalAditi) July 14, 2018
And on top of that, Kimbho’s founder – supposedly an ex-Googler with rusty information about tokenization and the current model for Kimbho’s promotions – Aditi Kamal has been promoting another app called “Bolo”. Bolo – Hindi for speak – looks like a makeshift replacement for Kimbho with the same swadeshi bent as Kimbho.
French ethical hacker who goes by the nom de guerre Elliot Alderson called Kimbho “a security disaster” when it was launched back in May, and based on the responses reported by IANS, not much appears to have changed.
— Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y) May 30, 2018
We’ll be keeping a close watch on the app and its launch by the Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on August 27. Meanwhile, make sure that you stay away from these fake apps pretending to be Kimbho.