Telegram is fast becoming a hotbed for hackers—a place where cybercriminals come to buy, sell, and share stolen data. This is from a new research carried out by cyber intelligence group Cyberint. The research revealed that the chat app is becoming an attractive alternative to the dark web.
The research which was carried out in conjunction with the Financial Times, found an increasing network of hackers sharing data leaks on Telegram. Sometimes too, Telegram’s channels are used to share these leaks which gives these hackers access to tens of thousands of subscribers, primarily due to its ease of use.
“We have recently been witnessing a 100 per cent-plus rise in Telegram usage by cybercriminals,” said Tal Samra, cyber threat analyst at Cyberint per FT.
“Its encrypted messaging service is increasingly popular among threat actors conducting fraudulent activity and selling stolen data . . . as it is more convenient to use than the dark web.”
India remains Telegram’s largest market—representing approximately 22 percent of all its installs since inception in late 2013. Of course, Telegram is doing fine in all other markets, but India is where the heartbeat of most apps is, and this is likely to continue for a very long time.
According to Sensortower, Telegram was the most downloaded non-gaming app in the month of January 2021. The chat app owned by Pavel Durov, recorded more than 63 million installs in the first month of the year. This was 3.8 times its total downloads in the corresponding month in 2020. In India, Telegram had 24 percent of the total download for the period in review, followed by Indonesia with 10 percent.
The number of mentions in Telegram of “Email:pass” and “Combo” — hacker parlance to indicate that stolen email and passwords are being shared, according to Cyberint, increased four times in the last one year to almost 3,400.
Telegram in a statement, said it “has a policy for removing personal data shared without consent”. Continuing, it said each day, its “ever growing force of professional moderators” removes more than 10,000 public communities for terms of service violations following user reports.