Telegram desktop app leaked user location during voice calls

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oi-Vishal Kawadkar

Telegram is plagued by a major vulnerability.

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Telegram has a reputation for high-end privacy and security, but that doesn’t make it immune to breaches. Security researcher Dhiraj Mishra discovered that the desktop version of Telegram leaked public and private IP addresses whenever users made voice calls to its peer-to-peer framework.

Telegram desktop app leaked user location during voice calls

While the mobile app offers the ability to disable peer-to-peer calls and keep information intact, the desktop version didn’t offer such a choice. Doing so could trick users into attacking or revealing their exact location.

Telegram fixed the issue in beta versions 1.3.17 and 1.4 by offering an option to either completely disable peer-to-peer calls or limit them to their contacts. Mishra received a bonus of € 2,000 (approximately $ 2,300) for the discovery.

Many applications in the past have suffered from such problems. In addition, mining for cryptocurrencies is a lucrative business. But why pay huge sums of money to buy this mining equipment when you can hijack other people’s cell phones and computers to do the same for you? This is what hackers do.

According to Malwarebytes, hackers have successfully breached the security barrier of millions of Android phones through a malicious ad redirect scam. The exact method is yet to be determined, but it appears that users downloaded the malicious apps that redirected them to a website.

The website directly stated that it was using the infected device to mine the cryptocurrency and would only stop if the user enters a valid CAPTCHA code. The average time users spent on this malicious site was around four minutes, but the site had over 30 million visitors per month. If we add the numbers together, it is obvious that the hackers have mined a huge amount of crypto.

A report states that since its first appearance in December 2015, the SamSam ransomware has raked in nearly $ 6 million targeting organizations and individuals around the world, including those in India. According to the 47-page report, 74% of known victims are based in the United States. Canada, the United Kingdom and the Middle East are other regions known to have suffered attacks, with India ranking sixth among the main victim countries around the world.

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Article first published: Monday, October 1, 2018, 12:30 p.m. [IST]



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