Intego today announced ChatBarrier X3, new software that works in conjunction with Apple’s iChat to provide two-way, real-time encryption of text chats. iChat instant messages are sent in clear text, and go through the AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) server. Hackers can intercept these messages at any stage of this process using ‘packet sniffers’ to intercept network data and reconstruct the sent text, according to Intego. “With a simple click of a button on the iChat window, Intego ChatBarrier X3 starts an encrypted chat session with a user who also has Intego ChatBarrier X3 installed. Since Intego ChatBarrier X3 provides real-time encryption, each message is encrypted as soon as a user presses Return. The message gets sent in milliseconds and the recipient’s copy of Intego ChatBarrier X3 decrypts it just as quickly.” Intego ChatBarrier X3 sells for US$39.95.