CEO of Telegram claims China is responsible for cyber attack

Telegram founder Pavel Durov claimed that the cyber attack against the messaging app coincided with the protests in Hong Kong.

On Wednesday, the encrypted messaging app Telegram was hit by a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) causing major disruptions.

Currently hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Hong Kong over a proposed extradition bill, which has resulted in Telegram being utilised as a primary tool for protestors to communicate with one another and organise themselves.

Bloomberg has reported that encrypted messaging apps like Telegram and Firechat are trending currently in Apple’s Hong Kong store. Encrypted messaging apps are an extremely attractive tool used globally to avoid surveillance by authorities.

Mr Durov had tweeted that the IP addresses involved with the DDoS came from China.

“IP addresses coming mostly from China. Historically, all state actor-sized DDoS (200-400 Gb/s of junk) we experienced coincided in time with protests in Hong Kong (coordinated on @telegram). This case was not an exception.”

In a series of tweets, Telegram explained that a DDoS is when “your servers get GADZILLIONS of garbage requests which stop them from processing legitimate requests”.

“To generate these garbage requests, bad guys use “botnets” made up of computers of unsuspecting users which were infected with malware at some point in the past. This makes a DDoS similar to the zombie apocalypse.”

China’s foreign ministry and cyberspace administration have yet to comment.

Telegram has announced that its service has been stabilised and that data is safe. 

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