Telegram would also be at hacker risk. This is what a study published a few days ago on the Ars Technica specialized site: the functionality exposed to attacks would be People near, which allows you to report your presence to other users in the area. The news, widespread only yesterday, is based on an article by independent researcher Ahmed Hassan.
Telegram at risk of hackers: the details
Android users who use the Telegram instant messaging service are the most penalized, but "in some cases" (the source has not been more precise) also iOS users.
Hackers and attackers could easily geolocate app users, which in recent times has met with great success thanks to its greater protection of privacy compared to its more consolidated rival, WhatsApp.
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The offending functionality
Telegram's security issue was reported by researcher Ahmed Hassan e it's about the People Near You feature.
What is it about? Of an option that is disabled by default and that, if enabled by the user, allows you to be intercepted by other users of the app who are nearby. The functionality is innovative, useful and sets a clear distinction from the competition, but now it also seems to contain a great pitfall.
Telegram and security: Ahmed Hassan's experiment
It was independent researcher Ahmed Hassan who showed the flaw of the People Close feature, which would expose Telegram to serious hacker risk. Hassan, using an Android device and software, falsified his location. And not only that: using People Close, through a triangulation he was able to identify the precise position of a user.
Ma it is not only individual security that is threatened on Telegram: hackers could also take advantage of the option to create groups within a specific geographic area. This, explains Hassan, can first of all expose you to the risk of harassment. "If a woman has used this feature to chat with a local group, she could be stalked by unwanted users."
It is also possible that scammers falsify their location to crash groups, scam them or steal subscriber data.
Hassan sent a video to Telegram, asking that it not be disclosed. The video shows how the researcher was able to identify three different points around a user, and from there discover their exact position.
Telegram would have responded with an email, in which he explains that People Near is disabled by default, and that "it is expected that the determination of the exact location is possible under certain conditions".
The recently released iOS 14 should ensure greater protection for its users, because it would provide a much more approximate position.
Telegram in the sights of hackers: the collapse of a myth?
Certainly the response of the Telegram leaders to the researcher Ahmed Hassan resembles an admission of guilt. This time the company founded by Pavel Durov seems to be facing a much more serious problem than the technical ones of last January 15th. There the reasons were to be found in the sudden boom in downloads, which had caused the Dubai-based company to cut the milestone of 50 million downloads. Here the security risk of Telegram seems to be the result of serious inattention.
Today, if WhatsApp has taken time by postponing the update of the terms of service by three months, Telegram is in the storm.
Signal has also been experiencing major problems since January 15th: the peak of new subscribers has slowed down navigation considerably and in some cases created real tilts.
We remind you that Signal was founded by the Signal Foundation, a non-profit association, it is open source and proudly boasts a particular attention to the privacy of its members.
To conclude, it seems that the recent technical problems of Signal and above all the exposure of Telegram to the action of Hackers, demonstrate how WhatsApp detractors, who dreamed of finding absolute freedom in some other app, may have to wait.Tagshacker Telegram Telegram and hackers: WhatsApp's main rival would also have security problems