Hackers break into allegedly safe Telegram message service


There is no such thing as a safe place in the cyberworld:

Cyber researchers have told Reuters that Iranian hackers have broken into more than a dozen accounts on the Telegram instant messaging service and identified the phone numbers of 15 million Iranian users, the largest known breach — so far — of the encrypted communications system.

Reuters reported that  the attacks “jeopardized the communications of activists, journalists and other people in sensitive positions in Iran, where Telegram is used by some 20 million people, said the independent cyber researcher Collin Anderson and the Amnesty International technologist Claudio Guarnieri, who have been studying Iranian hacking groups for three years.”

“Telegram promotes itself as an ultra-secure instant messaging system because all data is encrypted from start to finish, known in the industry as end-to-end encryption. A number of other messaging services, including Facebook’s WhatsApp, say they have similar capabilities.”

But of course none of them are safe.

To read The Guardian’s story on this, please hit this link.

Brazilian judge suspends WhatsApp

Brazilian Judge  Daniela Barbosa Assunção de Souza has imposed an indefinite suspension of Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp after it failed to cooperate in a criminal investigation. Reuters reports that it’s the third such incident involving the phone-messaging app since December.

The judge  said the order, affecting more than 100 million users in  Brazil, will be lifted once Facebook surrenders data. But she withheld details of the confidential case.

Reuters reported that WhatsApp stood by its defense that encrypted messages sent over the app are not stored on its servers, “an argument that has won out on appeal, quickly reversing recent blockages that still show the vast discretionary power of Brazil’s lower courts.” Some wonder if it involves political corruption.

“As we’ve said in the past, we cannot share information we don’t have access to. We hope to see this block lifted as soon as possible,” said a WhatsApp spokesperson.

“The office of Brazil’s attorney general reiterated its position that judges who suspend WhatsApp are incorrectly interpreting a 2014 law meant to provide a legal framework for the Internet.”

“Still, that guidance has not stopped judges frustrated with the modern limits of wiretaps in drug-trafficking investigations from going after the service and even briefly jailing a senior Facebook executive in March.”

To read the Reuters story, please hit this link.