An attack which targeted users of the Telegram app on Wednesday might be linked to protests in Hong Kong that turned violent.
That’s one of the theories in circulation, after a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack disrupted legitimate access to the Telegram secure messaging app by swamping it with “garbage requests.”
Pitched battles broke out in Hong Kong on Wednesday between police and protestors over proposals to allow the extradition of suspects to mainland China.
Smartphone messaging apps like Telegram and the less well-known FireChat – which creates a mesh network using Bluetooth and peer-to-peer Wi-Fi, allowing users to communicate even when they don’t have a cellular signal or internet access – are currently amongst the most popular downloads in Hong Kong’s iOS app store and were being widely used by protesters.
Many of those involved in the demonstrations, fearful of potential repercussions if facial recognition technology was deployed by law enforcement, covered their faces with masks and queued to buy public transport tickets rather than using Oyster cards that might be tracked.
Verna Yu confirms that people at train/metro stations in Hong Kong are buying paper tickets because they fear police will track them through their Octopus Card and know they were at the protest. Huge queues for tickets. pic.twitter.com/SRZOH4tRaP
— Kate Lyons (@MsKateLyons) June 12, 2019
Clearly any disruption of encrypted messaging apps being used by protesters would be massively inconvenient.
In a series of tweets, Telegram described that it was under attack and offered one of the most humorous descriptions of a denial-of-service attack that I’ve ever heard:
We’re currently experiencing a powerful DDoS attack, Telegram users in the Americas and some users from other countries may experience connection issues.
A DDoS is a “Distributed Denial of Service attack”: your servers get GADZILLIONS of (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from The State of Security authored by Graham Cluley. Read the original post at: https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/featured/ddos-attack-telegram-offline-hong-kong-protests/