Telegram saw a substantial increase in cybercrime, the report said.

Telegram has been used by cybercriminals for years since it is encrypted and simple to use. According to a recent analysis undertaken by The Financial Times and cyber intelligence firm Cyberint, there has been a “100%-plus increase in Telegram usage by hackers.” According to the Financial Times, the increase in criminal behavior on the app occurred after users flocked to it following a modification in WhatsApp’s privacy policy.

Earlier this year, WhatsApp asked its users to adopt a revised policy allowing it to share data with its parent firm, Facebook. Users were upset, and WhatsApp was forced to emphasize that it would still be unable to read their private chats. Nonetheless, users shifted to rivals offering secure equivalent chat capabilities – for Telegram, this appears to have resulted in an increase in criminal behavior committed over the app.

According to the investigators, there is a growing network of hackers that share and sell data dumps through channels with tens of thousands of members. Over the last year, the app’s mentions of “Email:pass” and “Combo” have apparently quadrupled. Some of the app’s data dumps contain 300,000 to 600,000 email and password combinations for gaming and email services. Through the app, cybercriminals are also selling financial information such as credit card details, passport copies, and hacking tools.

“Its encrypted messaging service is gaining popular among threat actors performing fraudulent behavior and selling stolen data… as it is more easier to use than the dark web,” said Tal Samra, cyber security analyst at Cyberint. Telegram, in addition to being more handy than the dark web, is less likely to be monitored by authorities, according to Samra.

Telegram has closed the channel where enormous datasets with email and password combinations are being traded after being contacted by the Financial Times. In a statement, Telegram also stated that it “has a policy for removing personal data shared without consent” and that it has a “ever growing force of professional moderators” who remove 10,000 public communities every day for violating its TOS. Following the attack on the US Capitol earlier this year, those moderators were forced to monitor hundreds of channels for calls to violence.

Source: Engadget

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