China: The encrypted messaging app Telegram announced yesterday that they had in fact been the victims of a large DDoS attack which had stopped many throughout the world from utilizing the application. According to Telegram, the attack was between 200 and 400 Gb/s and was launched from a number of IP addresses which have been tied to Chinese actors in the past. The timing of the attack coincided with massive protests in Hong Kong which later digressed into riots in certain areas of the city. The protesters were utilizing Telegram’s encrypted communications to coordinate their efforts throughout Hong Kong. This is not the first time that protesters have utilized Telegram to communicate during demonstrations. Last year, protesters in Iran utilized the application extensively. In that case,
As long as applications like Telegram continue to be used by protesters, applications like Telegram likely will continue to be targeted by state-sponsored hackers.
the users of the application were targeted rather than the application itself. Encrypted communications systems will always be utilized by those who wish to coordinate their actions against what they view as oppressive governments. Better protection for applications like this will need to be put in place by the owners of these applications if they wish to protect their users from being targeted, as well as to protect their own systems from being taken offline.