Telegram stabilizes after cyber attack

Marco Green
June 13, 2019

Telegram announced late on Wednesday that it was suffering a "powerful" Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, which involves a hacker overwhelming a target's servers by making a massive number of junk requests.

The DDoS attack began targeting Telegram's servers around 12:20 PM - Jun 12, 2019. The company then sent out a series of tweets revealing the cause of service disruption.

In March 2018, Telegram boasted serving a base of 200 million active users, with more coming to the platform as other instant messaging alternatives suffered connection problems. "Paranoia, activate", one of the tweets said. Some of the powerful DDoS attacks in history includes victims like Dyn DNS, Sucuri, Google, PlayStation, NRA, and Github, etc. A DDoS is a "Distributed Denial of Service attack": your servers get GADZILLIONS of garbage requests which stop them from processing legitimate requests.

After explaining in ELI5 fashion what a DDoS attack is and the effect it has, Telegram assured its users that their data remained safe.

Demonstrations descended into violence on Wednesday as police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters who tried to storm the city's Parliament - the worst political crisis Hong Kong has seen since its 1997 handover from Britain to China.

Users of Telegram Messengers in certain parts of the world had trouble exchanging messages through the service today.

Even if they were from a specific region it does not necessarily indicate that the attacker is from that location, too.

Hong Kong is not behind China's Great Firewall, which heavily restricts Internet access in the mainland - where Telegram is blocked. "Is there any connection with this attack?", another user tweeted. Is there any connection with this attack?

"For the moment, things seem to have stabilized", the company said in another tweet almost an hour after it acknowledged here the attack. However, according to Downdetector.com, a website where users can report faults with web platforms and sites, the issue seemed to have mostly affected users on the east coast of North America, as well as in Brazil and Argentina.

If you are a Telegram user and facing connectivity issue with the app follow the company's Twitter account for related updates.

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