TL;DR: “IP addresses coming mostly from China,” Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov confirmed regarding a recent cyberattack. “Historically, all state actor-sized DDoS (200-400 Gb/s of junk) we experienced coincided in time with protests in Hong Kong (coordinated on @telegram). This case was not an exception.” Telegram is often the messaging app of choice for the cryptocurrency community.
Telegram DDoS Attack Coincided With Hong Kong Protests
As protests over extradition to mainland China gather steam in Hong Kong, social media, and especially encrypted messaging applications, are becoming essential for both participants and the governments who wish to curb them.
“We’re currently experiencing a powerful DDoS attack,” Telegram announced on 12 June 2019, which they believed might impact users in the Americas. “A DDoS is a ‘Distributed Denial of Service attack:’ your servers get GADZILLIONS of garbage requests which stop them from processing legitimate requests. Imagine that an army of lemmings just jumped the queue at McDonald’s in front of you – and each is ordering a whopper. The server is busy telling the whopper lemmings they came to the wrong place – but there are so many of them that the server can’t even see you to try and take your order,” the company explained. “For the moment, things seem to have stabilized.”
IP addresses coming mostly from China. Historically, all state actor-sized DDoS (200-400 Gb/s of junk) we experienced coincided in time with protests in Hong Kong (coordinated on @telegram). This case was not an exception.
— Pavel Durov (@durov) June 12, 2019
Pressed, Durov attributed at least part of the attack to China internet provider addresses, which usually means their being directed by powerful government agencies. Telegram has grown to nearly a quarter billion users around globe, and is a go-to service for protests all over the world, including Hong Kong.
According to the South China Morning Post an “administrator of a Telegram group was arrested for conspiracy to commit public nuisance, after police turned up at his home on Tuesday night. The basis of the allegations against Ivan Ip, who is in his 20s and managed a conversation involving 30,000 members, is that he plotted with others to charge the Legislative Council Complex and block neighbouring roads.”
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.
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