The instant messaging service Telegram suffered a denial of service (DoS) attack this Wednesday; through Twitter, the company unveiled the incident, mentioning that users might experience some connection problems when using the service. According to web application security experts, the company’s CEO has pointed to the Chinese government as responsible for the incident.
Pavel Durov, founder and CEO of Telegram, said that the saturation in traffic originated mainly in IP addresses of China, ensuring that the DoS attack was deployed by a State actor to obstruct communication between the inhabitants of Hong Kong, who have organized mass protests through Telegram.
The last few days, hundreds of thousands of people have taken the streets of Hong Kong to protest against the plans of the Chinese government to allow extraditions from the city, which serves as a special administrative region, with its own rights and a market economy isolated from the rest of China.
Some web application security experts have supported Durov’s statements on the use of Telegram to mobilize people, as this is a service with a special focus on the privacy of users whose configurations make it difficult to Government espionage campaigns. According to reports from some firms, Telegram and FireChat, which works in a similar way, are the most recently downloaded apps at the Apple store in Hong Kong.
However, the renowned expert on web application security Richard Hummel points out that it is not easy to attribute these attacks to the Chinese government; “In a DoS attack, hackers usually falsify the IP addresses used to hide their infrastructure, this happened in the attack on Telegram”, the expert says.
According to the experts from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) Telegram completely reestablished its service during the last hours of Wednesday, mentioning that an enormous number of misconfigured devices were used to launch attacks to a specific IP address.