What is a Comms server?
The communication or 'Comms' server is based on one of the newer feature of Maltego and CaseFile which allows users the ability to share graphs and have multiple analysts work on a graph at the same time.
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.
Ways of running a shared graph session.
As usual it is not a requirement to purchase your own Comms server for your Maltego client to have the functionality of running shared graph sessions. 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.
If however you don't want the traffic from the shared graph sessions to run over the Internet on Paterva's infrastructure you can 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.
Alternatively, you can host your own XMPP (Jabber) server internally to host your shared graph sessions without the cost of purchasing a Comms server. Instructions on setting up your own server to run your collaborative graph sessions in Maltego can be found here. You could also just use one of the public jabber servers such as jabber.de.