Telegram stabilizes after cyber attack

Cheryl Sanders
June 16, 2019

Telegram announced late Wednesday that it was suffering a "powerful" Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, which involves a hacker overwhelming a target's servers by making a massive number of junk requests.

He openly stated that the IP addresses used in the attack originated from China. The DDoS attack has created connection issues among the users in America and several other countries. He also stated that this attack coincides with the ongoing Hong Kong protests where protesters used Telegram for their inter-communication to avoid detection as Telegram can function both in online as well as offline. "This case was not an exception", Mr Durov tweeted.

Yesterday, protesters gathered outside government headquarters in Hong Kong to oppose a government plan that would allow extraditions to China.

The cyber attack on the messaging company was said to have been a problem for users in various countries, which Durov explained as part of a Twitter thread.

On Wednesday, the messaging app confirmed it was having issues because of an attack, and provided a colourful explanation on how the attack works.

The SCMP noted Telegram, WhatsApp, Signal, FireChat, and other encrypted messaging systems have grown enormously popular in Hong Kong, particularly among young people.

The South China Morning Post first reported on the role the messaging app played in the protests when a Telegram group administrator was arrested for conspiracy to commit public nuisance. In addition, it enables encrypted messages to be sent and is seen as a secure way to communicate, while bypassing China's strict surveillance laws.

Organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), more than a million protesters have rallied this week against a bill that would allow the semi-independent Hong Kong government to detain and transfer those charged with a specific list of crimes to the Chinese mainland.

After hitting the streets in the largest protest in the last four years, the demonstrators had to use every tool at their exposal in order to battle the government.

Because of this strenuous encryption, the app has been used in terrorist attacks as communication previously, and was the subject of an Iranian government controversy past year.

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