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What is a Comms Server?

Modified on: Thu, 18 Jun, 2020 at 1:30 AM

The communications server adds collaborative capabilities to Maltego allowing users to interact while working as a team on a shared graph.


What does a Comms server do?

A Comms server allows multiple users to work interactively on a shared Maltego graph in real-time.

  • Users can interact over a built-in chat messenger as well as send links to selected portions of the graph.
  • Shared graphs are kept private with your session key that is used to encrypt the communication traffic with 128/256-bit AES.
  • Shared graph sessions are cross-platform meaning that the four different clients can all join the same shared graph.


How does a Comms server work?

Shared graphs are synchronized using the XMPP (Jabber) protocol so the graph is never stored anywhere in the 'cloud', it is only stored on the machines of the users sharing a graph. Communication is encrypted with TLS and 128-bit AES using the session key generated for that shared graph. With some configuration, 256-bit encryption can also be used.


To learn more about collaboration and using Maltego to collaborate with your team on an investigation - find out more here.


Types of Comms servers

It is not a requirement to purchase your own Private Comms server for your Maltego client to have the functionality of running shared graph sessions. Below are the different options for running shared graphs sessions in Maltego.


Public Comms Server

There is a public Comms Server hosted on Paterva's infrastructure that can be used by anyone for free. Using the default public Comms server is the quickest and easiest way to start sharing your Maltego graphs. With a few clicks, your whole team could be collaborating on a graph in no time.


Private Comms server

If, however, you don't want the traffic from the shared graph sessions to run over the Internet on Paterva's infrastructure you need to buy a private Comms server from us so that your traffic will all be kept local. Please note that even if a private Comms server is not used all traffic from the shared graph session that runs on Paterva's infrastructure is encrypted with your session key.


Host your own

Alternatively, you can host your own XMPP (Jabber) server internally to host your shared graph sessions without the cost of purchasing a Private Comms server. You could also just use one of the public jabber servers such as jabber.de.


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