Telegram is slowly becoming a new alternative to the dark web. An investigation by cybersecurity researchers into the messaging platform has revealed that private data belonging to millions of people was being shared openly on groups and channels that have thousands of members.
Telegram and other encrypted messaging apps are becoming the apps of choice for cyber criminals driven out of hiding by the take down of major dark web marketplaces.
Research from VPN provider vpnMentor further cements Telegram’s position as a safe haven for cybercriminals concluding that cybercriminals are using The messaging app to “share and discuss” massive data leaks that can expose “millions of people to unprecedented levels of online fraud, hacking, and attack”.
The list keeps going, NortonLifeLock also recently found evidence of a “thriving illegal marketplace” on Telegram where everything from Covid-19 vaccines, personal data, pirated software to fake IDs are up for sale.
The vpnMentor researchers have detailed their findings in a report where they examine the growing trend of cybercriminals sharing leaked data on Telegram.
Data that would in the past only be leaked on the dark web are now being dumped on Telegram. This is possible as Telegram has a lot of security features aimed at “protecting the privacy of its members”. Telegram also has a lower barrier for entry as compared to the dark web and this messaging platform is also immune to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, web takedowns that can threaten how cybercriminals work on the normal web.
Telegram is yet to respond and has taken “limited steps” to remove groups related to hacking, but that hasn’t made much of a difference according to the report.