Hackers were conducting “in the wild attacks” and the zero-day vulnerability has been discovered in the desktop version for end-to-end encrypted Telegram app to spread malware that mines cryptocurrencies.


In brief:

Telegram, a popular messaging app among the crypto community has been targeted by hackers to utilize unsuspecting users’ computers to mine Monero and Zcash. Reportedly, hackers exploited Telegram’s Zero-Day flaw to spread malware.

Telegram, a popular messaging application among crypto community has suffered a setback. The privacy-focused instant messaging application was targeted by hackers to utilize unsuspecting users’ computers to mine Monero and Zcash.

Specialists at a multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky Lab have discovered a breach in the Telegram client for Windows, which hackers used to mine cryptocurrency and install spyware since March 2017. It has been found that hackers have exploited a flaw in the Telegram messaging app’s desktop client, which has allowed them to mine digital currencies.

Hackers were conducting “in the wild attacks” and the zero-day vulnerability has been discovered in the desktop version for end-to-end encrypted Telegram app to spread malware that mines cryptocurrencies. Hackers focused their efforts largely on mining Monero, Zcash, and Fantomcoin, as well as, they secretly executed different commands and installed spyware on victims’ computers. According to Kaspersky Lab, hidden malware was downloaded by users which were then installed on their computers. This was made possible as hackers renamed the file itself by using a hidden Unicode character in the file name that flipped characters.

Telegram since its launch has been marketed as a highly secure messaging app, and over time it has gained popularity among security-concerned users. It is to be noted that Telegram is holding an initial coin offering (ICO) seeking to raise about USD $2 billion to create its own blockchain and cryptocurrency. Now, Kaspersky’s announcement is likely to add hurdles to this ICO, as already some investors have raised the issue of lack of technical expertise and now lack of trust will be another issue to address.

However, Telegram’s website, at press time, continued to state that “messages are heavily encrypted and can self-destruct;” in addition to claiming “your messages are safe from hacker attacks.” As a precautionary measure, users are advised by Kaspersky to “avoid sharing any sensitive personal information in instant messengers,” and to make sure to never download unknown files from unidentified sources.


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