Telegram for Malicious Activities: How Hackers Exploit the App

There have been multiple cases of hackers leveraging Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, and now Telegram is becoming a preferred target for hackers as evident by the increasing number of abuse cases on the service. Taking advantage of tools and services that are used specifically for communication is not a new trend but is affecting more and more legitimate apps, with Telegram attracting more attention from crooks of all form and proportion.

About Telegram: Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging and voice over IP service developed by Telegram Messenger LLP, a privately held company registered in London, United Kingdom, founded by the Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov.

Why Are Hackers Leveraging Telegram?

Two main reasons:

  1. For spreading malware and pirated content;
  2. As a communication channel.

А couple of years ago Christopher Budd of Trend Micro’s Global Threat Communications said that “a simple Google search for ‘hack messaging apps’ brings up more than a million hits, the first of which are how-to guides for targeting these applications and infiltrating them in order to steal information“.

Why are malicious actors using messengers like Telegram for their operations? There are two main reasons for that shift. One is that several popular Dark Web market places such as Hansa Market and Alpha Bay are no longer available. And the second reason is the end-to-end encryption offered by Telegram:

Telegram’s special secret chats use end-to-end encryption, leave no trace on our servers, support self-destructing messages and don’t allow forwarding. On top of this, secret chats are not part of the Telegram cloud and can only be accessed on their devices of origin.

Security researchers have indeed spotted an increase in cybercriminals leveraging Telegram to communicate in a secure and efficient manner. In addition to employing Telegram for communication, criminals have also taken advantage of its (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from How to, Technology and PC Security Forum authored by Milena Dimitrova. Read the original post at: