Archive for Telegram

Now Telegram Is Banned In Iran

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 1, 2018 by itnerd

After being banned in Russia, it now turns out that Iran is banning the messaging service Telegram:

“Considering various complaints against the Telegram social networking app by Iranian citizens, and based on the demand of security organizations to confront the illegal activities of Telegram, the judiciary has banned its usage in Iran,” state TV reported.

“All Internet providers in Iran must take steps to block Telegram’s website and app as of April 30,” the judiciary website Mizan quoted a court order as saying.

The court order, according to Mizan, said Iran’s security had been threatened by Telegram as it had been used to mobilize many anti-government protests. 

Mizan said: “Those actions included propaganda against the establishment, terrorist activities, spreading lies to incite public opinion, anti-government protests and pornography.”

The ban apparently affects millions and may be connected to the Trump Administration’s threat to exit the nuclear weapons deal that was signed in 2015. Regardless, we’ll have to see how this plays out.


Russian Court Says That Telegram Is Now Blocked In Russia

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 13, 2018 by itnerd

I’ve been writing about the ongoing fight between the Russian government and popular messaging app Telegram for a few weeks now. In short, Russia wanted Telegram’s encryption keys. Presumably so they can spy on Telegram users. Telegram said no. And as a result, here we are with Telegram being blocked in Mother Russia on the orders of a court:

The decision came a week after Russia’s state communication watchdog filed a lawsuit to limit access to Telegram messaging app following the company’s refusal to give Russian state security services access to its users messages.

With more than 200 million users worldwide, the mobile messaging app allows users to communicate via encrypted messages which cannot be read by third parties, including government authorities.

Here’s the ironic part, apparently the Russian government uses Telegram…. I wonder how they will do without it?:

The Kremlin uses Telegram to coordinate timings of regular conference calls with Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, while many government officials use the messenger to communicate with media.

When Reuters asked a person in the Russian government on how they would operate without access to Telegram, the person, who asked not be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue, replied by sending a screenshot of his mobile phone with an open VPN app.

Wait, aren’t VPNs banned in Russia? Of course they are. I guess that in Russia, everyone is equal. But some are clearly more equal than others.

In any case, this fight between the Russia government and Telegram is likely to escalate. It will be interesting to see what shape that escalation takes.

Russia Is Starting The Process To Ban Telegram

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 6, 2018 by itnerd

You might recall that I posted a story about Russia wanting to get its hands on the encryption keys related to Telegram, the popular messaging app. Which of course wasn’t going to happen because can’t. As a result, The BBC is reporting today that the Roskomnadzor media regulator has begun legal proceedings to block the app in the country.

My thought on this is simple. I think Russia can try to block Telegram, but I suspect that that won’t kill the service. So I expect a game of cat and mouse to commence. Let’s see who comes out on top.

Telegram Ordered By Russians To Hand Over Encryption Keys….Not That It Can

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 21, 2018 by itnerd

Secure messaging service Telegram has lost a bid before Russia’s Supreme Court to block security services from getting access to users’ data. Those security services, namely the FSB which is Russia’s spy agency wanted access to Telegram’s encryption keys so that they can snoop on all communications. Here’s the problem with that…. At least beyond the fact that Russia wants to spy on Telegram users…. Telegram doesn’t hold users encryption keys. Thus it’s impossible to comply with orders to hand them over. Too bad the company has 15 days to comply or bad things will happen. Though their lawyer plans to appeal. We’ll see how that plays out.


WhatsApp & Telegram Flaw Allows Hijacking Of Accounts…. But Don’t Worry…It’s Fixed

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 16, 2017 by itnerd

A flaw in in the web version of Telegram and WhatsApp has been discovered that via a specially crafted image, allows a hacker to hijack the account. The flaw was discovered by CheckPoint and here’s what you need to know:

The exploitation of this vulnerability starts with the attacker sending an innocent looking file to the victim, which contains malicious code.

The file can be modified to contain attractive content to raise the chances a user will open it. In WhatsApp, once the user clicks to open the image, the malicious file allows the attacker to access the local storage, where user data is stored. In Telegram, the user should click again to open a new tab, in order for the attacker to access local storage. From that point, the attacker can gain full access to the user’s account and account data. The attacker can then send the malicious file to the all victim’s contacts, opening a dangerous door to a potentially widespread attack over the WhatsApp and Telegram networks.

Since messages were encrypted without being validated first, WhatsApp and Telegram were blind to the content, thus making them unable to prevent malicious content from being sent.

For those of you who are more visual, here’s a video of the pwnage in action:


The good news is that this is already fixed by both parties. And better yet, the phone app appears not to be affected. Still, I’d advise that users of either web app avoid opening suspicious files and links from unknown users and flush your browser cache every once in a while.