Telegram Messenger Service Suffers Cyberattack Originating From China

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The CEO of messaging service Telegram has suggested that a recent cyber attack on the encrypted chat platform was the work of the Chinese government as part of an attempt to disrupt use of the app to coordinate ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov said the messaging service experienced a "state actor-sized" distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack yesterday and this morning after "garbage requests" flooded its servers and disrupted communications.

DDoS attacks typically work through the use of botnets – often operating on hijacked computers infected with malware – which bombard servers with redundant requests to prevent them from processing legitimate requests.


Most of those requests came from IP addresses originating in China and appeared to be coincided in time with protests in Hong Kong, founder Pavel Durov said in a later Twitter post.

Protesters in the hundreds and thousands have been marching through Hong Kong's streets this week in opposition to a controversial law that would allow people in the city to be extradited to China.

Chinese state media have condemned the protests, which they claim is being motivated by outside forces and risks undermining social stability in the region.

This isn't the first time apps have been blocked in Hong Kong. In 2014, China's cyberspace administration cut access to Instagram during the city's Umbrella Movement, which used umbrellas as a tool of passive resistance to the police's use of pepper spray on protestors who were seeking more transparent elections.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

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13 months ago
Any privacy-focused user should prefer Signal over Telegram anyway.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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13 months ago

Any privacy-focused user should prefer Signal over Telegram anyway.

Agreed. However I preferred iOS’ Messages app over anything if it’s iPhone to iPhone.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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13 months ago

Why is that?

proprietary encryption algorithms I'd guess, Telegram has been criticized for it. Although if China was attempting to take it out that may lead credence to it in fact being unbroken. Also possible they were just more concerned about the momentum that could be reached than monitoring communications at the time.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago

Any privacy-focused user should prefer Signal over Telegram anyway.

Yeah but does Signal still not have an option to hide your phone number? That was always baffling to me, Telegram's system for that works perfectly.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
This is modern (civil) war I guess. I really wonder what our children will be confronted with in the far future.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
The ChiComs are out of control. People of HK need to say no to this ridiculous extradition law
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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