China was the country of origin for the hacking of and a massive cyber attack on the messaging service of Telegram, said the company’s founder Pavel Durov.
Confirmation of the company being the victim of a “powerful” Distributed Denial of Service attack was made by Telegram on Wednesday. The company said that the attack managed ot disrupt its service for over an hour.
The servers of a target victim are overwhelmed and over loaded by junk requests by hackers in what is known as a DDos attack.
According to reports, this cyber attack came at a time when the is messaging platform was being used by thousands of protesters in Hong Kong to communicate with each other so that they were able to coordinate the protests against a proposed extradition law in the city state which would allow taking Hong Kong to mainland China for legal trials.
The disruption affected users in the Americas and “other countries”, said Telegram in a post on Twitter. Those IP addresses that the company suspects were involved in the cyber attack which originated in China were also later tweeted by Durov.
The Tweeter post read: “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.”
There was no comment about the claims of Telegram from China’s Cyberspace Administration which is the body that is tasked with the regulation of the cyber policy of China.
Users of Telegram are allowed to send encrypted messages, documents, videos and pictures at free of cost. Additionally, groups as large as up to 200,000 users of the app, can also be created by the users on Telegram. Users can also use the app to create channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences.
The focus and emphasis on encryption has driven the growth of the messaging service according to analysts. Encryption of the service prevents agencies and private individuals of putting to use some most of the widely used and conventional techniques to read confidential communications over the app.
The comments dame by Durov pointing to China based actors for the cyber attacks came at a time when authorities in Hong Kong has arrested an individual who has been identified as a Telegram group administrator, over charges of conspiracy to commit public nuisance.
Protests over the proposed plans to allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China saw the police engaging with pitched battles with protesters on the streets of the city on Wednesday. Seventy-two people were injured, including two men who were in critical condition, in the clashes.
The “one country, two systems” principle is applied in the case of Hong Kong – which is a part of China. This principle allows the city to keeps its own judicial independence, its own legislature and economic system. China would gain greater and decisive control over Hong Kong of this proposed extradition bill is passed and implemented, fears protesters and a section of analysts and experts.
(Adapted from BBC.com)