Cybercriminals love Telegram and that’s a problem

Earlier this year, what with Facebook’s incredibly poorly worded policy update for WhatsApp, there was a new appetite for Telegram and other instant messaging platforms.

As it turns out, it wasn’t just ordinary people making the switch to Telegram but cybercriminals have increasingly flocked to the platform.

This is according to an investigation conducted by the Financial Times (paywall) and Cyberint.

According to that investigation, there has been a more than 100 percent increase in Telegram usage by cybercriminals. The platform is being used to share and sell data leaks within channels that reportedly house tens of thousands of subscribers.

Why have cybercriminals chosen Telegram? According to Tal Samra, a cyber analyst at Cyberint, it’s easier than using the dark web.

“Its encrypted messaging service is increasingly popular among threat actors conducting fraudulent activity and selling stolen data … as it is more convenient to use than the dark web,” said Samra.

While Telegram has reportedly said it has removed a channel where massive datasets were being sold it does seem as if the platform is playing whack-a-mole with cybercriminals.

In addition to cybercrime, Telegram is seemingly becoming the platform of choice for nefarious individuals. A report from Check Point Research (CPR) reveals that fake vaccination cards can easily be found for sale on Telegram.

“In our last report back in August 2021, we shared that fake ‘vaccine passport’ certificates were on sale for US$100-US$120, with majority of sellers from European countries. Also on sale: The EU Digital COVID certificate, CDC and NHS COVID-19 vaccine cards, and fake PCR COVID-19 tests. The number of advertisement groups and their sizes have multiplied by a hundred percent since the beginning of 2021,” wrote the cybersecurity firm.

There appears to be a rot setting in at Telegram and the firm is really going to have to do some housekeeping before things get well and truly out of hand and the only users are the more unsavoury individuals.

[Via – Engadget]


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