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  1. Telegram messages are a focus in newly uncovered hack campaign from Iran Active since 2014, “Rampant Kitten” uses Windows and Android infostealers. Enlarge / Rampant Kitty has been targeting Telegram like a feline to twine. Check Point 0 with 0 posters participating Researchers said they have uncovered an ongoing surveillance campaign that for years has been stealing a wide range of data on Windows and Android devices used by Iranian expatriates and dissidents. The campaign, which security firm Check Point has named Rampant Kitten, comprises two main components, one for Windows and the other for Android. Rampant Kitten’s objective is to steal Telegram messages, passwords, and two-factor authentication codes sent by SMS and then also take screenshots and record sounds within earshot of an infected phone, the researchers said in a post published on Friday. The Windows infostealer is installed through a Microsoft Office document with a title that roughly translates to “The Regime Fears the Spread of the Revolutionary Cannons.docx.” Once opened, it urges readers to enable macros. If a user complies, a malicious macro downloads and installs the malware. The Android infostealer is installed through an app that masquerades as a service to help Persian-language speakers in Sweden get their driver’s license. “According to the evidence we gathered, the threat actors, who appear to be operating from Iran, take advantage of multiple attack vectors to spy on their victims, attacking victims’ personal computers and mobile devices,” Check Point researchers wrote in a longer report also published on Friday. “Since most of the targets we identified are Iranians, it appears that similarly to other attacks attributed to the Islamic Republic, this might be yet another case in which Iranian threat actors are collecting intelligence on potential opponents to the regiment.” The Windows infostealer takes a particular interest in Telegram. Fake Telegram service accounts push phishing pages that purport to be official Telegram login sites. The malware also seeks out messages stored in Telegram for Windows when it’s installed on infected computers. To survive reboots, Check Point said, the infostealer hijacks the Telegram for Windows update process by replacing the official Updater.exe file with a malicious one. (I attempted to ask Telegram officials if the service uses code signing to prevent such tampering but didn’t succeed in reaching anyone.) Passwords, messages, and conversations are all ours Check Point said other features of the Windows malware included: Uploads relevant Telegram files from victim’s computer. These files allow the attackers to make full usage of the victim’s Telegram account Steals information from KeePass password manager application Uploads any file it can find which ends with pre-defined extensions Logs clipboard data and takes desktop screenshots As noted earlier, the Android backdoor targets SMS-sent one-time passwords and records nearby conversations. Check Point said evidence from passive DNS records—which log other domains that have used the same IP address used in Rampant Kitten—suggested that the attackers have been active since at least 2014. A separate report published by the Miaan Group, a human rights organization that focuses on digital security in the Middle East, echoed the research and added details, including the exfiltration of the malware of data from the WhatsApp messenger. “Since early 2018, Miaan researchers have been tracking malware used in a series of cyberattacks on Iranian dissidents and activists,” organization researchers wrote. “The research has uncovered hundreds of victims of malware and phishing attacks that stole data, passwords, personal information, and more.” It wasn’t clear if that malware included the infostealers detailed by Check Point. Readers should remember that the ability to extract Telegram, KeePass, or WhatsApp data from an infected computer isn’t automatically an indication of especially sophisticated malware or a flaw in the targeted applications. To be useful, all three applications have to decrypt contents when a user needs it. That moment presents an opportunity for malware already installed to obtain the information. People should remember there are rarely good reasons to enable macros in Office documents and that messages to allow them is a red flag. Both reports provide extensive indicators of compromise that people can use to determine if they’ve been targeted. Telegram messages are a focus in newly uncovered hack campaign from Iran
  2. Telegram adds video call support on Android, blames Apple for iOS delay Earlier this year, the team behind messaging app Telegram committed to finally making video calls available sometime in 2020. Today, in celebration of the app's seventh anniversary, the feature is finally available with version 7.0 of the app, but there's a caveat - it's only for Android users. As noted in the blog post, video calls are ready for the iOS version, but because of Apple's lengthy review process, the update wasn't published in time. Telegram took a jab at Apple, saying that it submitted the iOS version a few days before it sent the Android version for review, but Apple still didn't make it in time. The team says you'll have to wait a while longer, or "switch to a platform that has more respect for its users and developers, like Android". Video calls are pretty standard on Telegram, and the developers plan to expand its feature set over time, including support for group calls. For now, you can make one-on-one calls, and switch between the front and rear cameras at will. There's also picture-in-picture support, so callers will remain visible as you do other things. Aside from video calls, today's update adds a few more animated emoji, if you're looking for a way to spice up your chats. You can download Telegram for your preferred platform here. Telegram adds video call support on Android, blames Apple for iOS delay
  3. Telegram now lets users send 2GB files, adds profile videos, and more Last month, the team behind the Telegram messaging app added a handful of new capabilities, including a new video editor and animated stickers in photos and videos. Today, a new update is bringing the version number to 6.3 and adding more capabilities to the app on multiple platforms. For starters, Telegram is increasing the size limit for files shared on the app, from 1.5GB per file - the limit that had been in place since 2014 - to 2GB for any file type. By comparison, WhatsApp allows media files to be shared up to 16MB, and up to 100MB for documents. The update also includes the ability to change your profile picture into a profile video. The video will play when someone opens the user's profile, and it's possible to choose a specific frame from the video to be displayed in chats. It's also now possible to go through your previous profile pictures and videos and choose one of them as your main profile picture in lieu of your current one. The video editor also has a new option for photos and videos from the front-facing camera, which allows users to smoothen their skin in case they want to hide any imperfections. The team has also added mini thumbnails for photos in the chat list and notifications, instead of a generic thumbnail for media files. If you like animated emoji, some more have been added with today's update. There are other improvements to the chatting experience, starting with improvements to the People Nearby feature, which now also indicates the distance between the the user and any detected contacts. Users that often get messages from new people outside their contacts can now have those chats automatically muted and sent to the archive, though this will need to be enabled from the app's privacy settings page. Back in March, Telegram added the option to view channel statistics to gauge follower engagement over time. Channel statistics are now available for channels with 500 subscribers or more, and also for groups with 500 members or more. In the future, the features will be available for groups with just 100 members. As for version-specific changes, Android users now have a redesigned music player with an expandable track list, the video editor now allows for cropping and rotating videos, and the text input box expands smoothly as more lines are added. Meanwhile, Telegram Desktop now supports multiple accounts, similar to the mobile app, which has done so since 2017. Telegram now lets users send 2GB files, adds profile videos, and more
  4. Russia lifts its ban on the Telegram messenger app The ban was mostly ineffective, as Russians found ways to access the app Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Russia will lift its nearly two-year ban on messenger app Telegram, Reuters reported. The country’s telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor said the company had shown “willingness” to help with counterterrorism efforts. “Roskomnadzor is dropping its demands to restrict access to Telegram messenger in agreement with Russia’s general prosecutor’s office,” the agency said in a statement. A Russian court blocked the app in April 2018, after Telegram refused to share its encryption keys — a means of accessing users’ data — with Roskomnadzor. Telegram has a history of use by terrorist organizations. Its refusal to provide access to encryption keys ran afoul of Russia’s anti-terrorism laws, which require messaging services to give authorities access to decrypt messages. Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov said in 2018 that “privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed.” But the ban was mostly ineffective and led to a messy back-and-forth, with ISPs blocking 15.8 million IPs on Amazon and Google cloud platforms, which affected Russian businesses that used those services. Russia also blocked internet anonymizers and VPN services that Telegram may have used to hide traffic, according to the Independent. Many Russian agencies and Russians continued to find ways to use Telegram. Earlier this month, Durov said authorities in Russia should lift the ban to let Russian users access the service “with more comfort.” He said the company has improved its tools for detecting and deleting extremist content on the platform. Telegram said in April it had reached 400 million monthly active users, a doubling of its user base in just the past two years. Russia lifts its ban on the Telegram messenger app
  5. Telegram 6.2 adds an improved video editor, animated stickers in photos The privacy-oriented Telegram messenger has consistently been expanding its feature set over time, most recently delivering a few improvements to quizzes to make them more educational. Just before that, the team had released version 6.0, which brought chat folders and much more to the table. Today, Telegram version 6.2 is available, and it brings a few new capabilities to the photo and video editors. The focus is on video, though, with a slew of updates that make it a pretty capable editor for a messaging app. You can now enhance videos before sending them, or customize specific parameters such as exposure, saturation, warmth, and more, all within the Telegram app. Additionally, you can zoom in on videos to draw on them more accurately, add stickers, and more. Basically, almost all the editing tools that were available for photos can now be used in videos. Additionally, the photo editor itself is getting some improvements which also apply to the new video editor. It's now possible to add animated stickers to any area of a video or photo to add a little extra flair. On photos, that means they will be sent as GIFs. On that note, the GIF panel now has a Trending tab, plus a number of tabs based on emoji, so you can find GIFs that represent a certain emotion more easily. Additionally, GIFs in the GIF panel should now load faster. Finally, there's a handful of smaller improvements. After the addition of folders in version 6.0, it's now possible to press and hold on a chat to send it to a specific folder, or to remove it from one. On Android specifically, the app now features new animations for sending, editing, and deleting messages, a new video player that hides the controls and captions more quickly, and voice messages play with new animations as well. The storage usage page in the app's settings has also seen a facelift on Android. Telegram 6.2 adds an improved video editor, animated stickers in photos
  6. Telegram adding secure group video calls this year The messaging service now has 400 million monthly active users Messaging app Telegram is developing a group video calling service that’s due to be launched later this year, the company announced today. It says that current options offer either security or usability, but that its version will offer both. Telegram announced the plans alongside news that it reached 400 million monthly active users, doubling its user base in two years. Telegram’s claim that current group video calling services offer either security or usability is a not-so-subtle swipe at user-friendly Zoom, which has been hit by multiple security scandals in recent months. Critics pointed out that the service’s claims about offering end-to-end encryption were false, and that its default privacy settings made it easy for uninvited users to tap into video calls. That said, Telegram has also faced its share of criticism from the security community in part because its end-to-end encryption is not enabled by default. According to Telegram, it hit the 400 million user milestone a year after reaching 300 million users. Reaching the milestone means it’s doubled its user base since 2018, when it had 200 million monthly active users. The company said it’s seeing at least 1.5 million new users sign up for the service every day, and that it is the most downloaded social media app in over 20 countries. However, its user base still pales in comparison to WhatsApp, which boasted 2 billion users as of February this year. Alongside its monthly active users announcement, Telegram also detailed a collection of new features it’s launching today. Users can now add educational snippets to quizzes created on the service, there’s a new directory to browse the 20,000 stickers available on Telegram, and the company is also adding new features to its macOS client. You can find full details of the new features on Telegram’s blog. Source: Telegram adding secure group video calls this year (The Verge)
  7. Telegram 6.0 adds chat folders, channel statistics, and more Telegram is already one of the more feature-rich messaging apps out there, and the team behind it releases significant feature updates on a somewhat frequent basis. Today, Telegram 6.0 is making its way to users, and it brings some new capabilities. The highlight of today's release is chat folders, which do pretty much what you expect them to do. Once your chat list starts getting cluttered, you'll be able to create folders to organize your chats in any way you want. You can make it so that certain kinds of chats, like channels or those with unread messages, are automatically added to a folder, or add them one by one. Folders can have an unlimited number of pinned chats, much like the archive. On mobile, folders will look like tabs you can swipe between, and on the desktop version of Telegram, folders will be quickly accessible from a new side bar. Folders you create on one platform will automatically sync to the others, so everything will be organized the same way everywhere. The feature will be automatically enabled once you have a certain number of chats, but you can enable it manually through this link or the app's settings. Of course, the archive is still there if you wanna store away chats that don't interest you anymore. One thing you'll need to be aware of is that you'll no longer be able to swipe on a chat to send it to the archive once you create chat folders, so you'll need to use a long press. Another useful new feature, particularly for large channels, is the ability to view channel statistics. If you have a channel with more than 1,000 followers, you can now view detailed statistics, such as how many people are joining the channel and the performance of each of the posts. On the more aesthetic side of things, Telegram has added a new wavy animation when you're holding the button to record a voice or video message. There are also a few new animated emoji, and this round's additions are themed around the current coronavirus pandemic, meaning emoji related to diseases are now animated. There are also new sticker pack recommendations for the virus emoji, with many stickers to remind your friends to stay safe. One new animated emoji that's worthy of note is the dice. Unlike other emoji, the animations isn't preset, so you can roll the dice and get a random number as a way to settle a decision, for example. Simply send the dice emoji to roll it. The update should be rolling out to users now, but you may not get it right away. If you haven't yet, you can download Telegram for your preferred platform. Source: Telegram 6.0 adds chat folders, channel statistics, and more (Neowin)
  8. Telegram update brings improved Theme Editor and Send when Online option The developers of the popular messaging application Telegram have released a big update for the mobile application to the Apple App Store Google Play. The update introduces numerous new features and improvements including options to reproduce builds, an update to the theme editor, a new send when online feature, and viewing search results as a list. The update is already available and Telegram clients should be updated automatically if application updates are automated on the mobile devices the client is installed on. One of the main new features of the new version is improved themes support. Telegram users may select Settings > Chat Settings (Appearance Settings on iOS) to style chats in Telegram. New options include setting up gradients that are applied to messages and backgrounds. Telegram comes with preset gradients that can be applied right on the page and an option to create custom gradients. Telegram users may also select one of several dozen patterns that they may apply as backgrounds, or apply new pre-defined color schemes with a single tap. Another new feature that is introduced in the update is "send when online". Basically, what it does is send the message when the recipient comes online the next time instead of right away. The feature is limited to contacts that allow you to see their online status. If you have searched before in the application you may remember that you had to browse the list of results in regular view up until now. The update introduces a new list view options when searching that may be activated with a tap on the bottom bar when search results are displayed. List view displays more results per page which may be useful if lots of results are returned. What else is new? Support for podcasts and audiobooks. File sharing has been supported for a long time but audio files get special treatment in the new release. Telegram remembers the last position of audio files that have a play time of at least 20 minutes; this lets you continue easily. There is also a new 2x button to speed up playback. Location sharing was updated to make venue sharing easier. Android: option to switch to dark mode faster. Just open the menu and tap on the new night mode icon there to toggle between day and night mode. Maps support night mode as well now. Android: new animations. Android: option to copy part of a message (already supported on iOS). Android: options to share content from other apps with multiple friends easier. Android: new option to mark archives as read (by tapping and holding the archive folder, and selecting mark all as read). Android: video quality selection has been improved. Android: sending contacts uses a simple, card-style interface. iOS: scale the font size throughout the app and not only the size of messages. iOS: pick an external browser. iOS: Share Sheet (most popular contacts) can now be customized. iOS: faster account switching. iOS: clear cache option when selecting multiple messages. iOS: long member lists auto-collapse automatically. You can check out the entire changelog here. Source: Telegram update brings improved Theme Editor and Send when Online option (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  9. How to disable autoplay videos in Telegram Desktop Autoplaying videos are one of the biggest annoyances on the Internet. Nobody likes a loud, blaring, noisy video to play unexpectedly. Sadly, many websites think it's cool to have them. I have seen them on Steam too, during sale events or a new game launch or award ceremonies, or on Netflix, with its dreaded auto-play on hover. The Telegram Desktop application was updated to version 1.9.3 today and it adds a few features (Telegram app was updated as well). I like the new spell checker and the resume playback option for videos is nice too. But the update also brings autoplay videos in chats. I don't really see why they enabled this by default for the desktop version. Initially, I didn't notice it. But when I switched to another program and back, I noticed that I had received a couple of video messages which were autoplaying in-line. This was odd because, I always manually downloaded videos and they played in the full-screen mode. The in-line autoplay media's audio was muted while the video kept playing. What really annoyed me was that there was no way to pause this in-line video, so it just kept playing (which in turn should be using some memory in the background). I thought sending a new message would stop the video but it did not. Multiple videos were playing at the same time too. Clicking on the video switches it to the full screen view and right-clicking on it just shows the regular options. Then I remembered that the service had introduced this autoplay feature in their mobile app last year and that it was optional. Fortunately, the update message from Telegram does mention where to find the setting to disable autoplay videos. But look at the screenshot and you will probably agree that it is a bit confusing. How to disable autoplay videos in Telegram Desktop 1. Click on the menu button and then on Settings. 2. Select "Advanced". 3. This screen has a section named "Automatic Media Download" that has 3 options "In Private Chats, In Groups, In channels". 4. Click on the first one (Private chats) and in the next screen, disable the toggles next to Videos and Round Video Messages. 5. Hit the Save button. Once you do this, videos will no longer automatically be downloaded or autoplay. Depending on your requirements, i.e., whether you want to disable autoplay videos completely, repeat Step 4 and 5 for Groups and Channels. Personally I would have liked one setting named "Autoplay videos" and a toggle for it, instead of having to switch to three screens and repeat the steps. Disabling autoplay videos also disables the in-line video player. So, even if you've downloaded a video manually, the only way to view it is in the full-screen mode. The in-line player for desktop would actually be nice if it had an option to pause the video. In its current state you literally can't use it at all. For those who don't know, Telegram's Round Videos were formerly called Telescope videos, and that's just a fancy term for "video messages" that are sent in a round format instead of a rectangle. And I thought Xbox nailed it with their naming schemes. Source: How to disable autoplay videos in Telegram Desktop (gHacks)
  10. SEC says Telegram can't avoid federal securities laws by labeling their product a cryptocurrency. Telegram's plans for its cryptocurrency and blockchain network may be in jeopardy. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed an emergency action and obtained a temporary restraining order against the company, which prevents it from distributing and selling its Gram tokens in the country. According to the regulators, the company sold 2.9 billion Grams at discounted prices to 171 initial purchasers worldwide, raising $1.7 billion in the process. A billion of those tokens were purchased by people in the US. The agency says Telegram didn't register the offering with its office, and since it sees Grams as securities, it's accusing the company of violating the Securities Act of 1933. It's not clear how this restraining order would affect Gram's launch as a whole. Former SEC attorney Zachary Fallon told Bloomberg that it could also complicate the company's ability to sell tokens in other countries. But even if it doesn't prevent Telegram from launching outside the US, it could still cause huge issues for the company. The New York Times reported back in August that Telegram promised investors it would deliver Grams by October 31st or return their money. The SEC Division of Enforcement's Co-Director Stephanie Avakian said: "Our emergency action today is intended to prevent Telegram from flooding the US markets with digital tokens that we allege were unlawfully sold. We allege that the defendants have failed to provide investors with information regarding Grams and Telegram's business operations, financial condition, risk factors, and management that the securities laws require." The agency also stressed that companies can't avoid federal securities laws just by labeling their products a cryptocurrency or a digital token. Source
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  12. The first coins should be here within two months Telegram’s cryptocurrency— the Gram — may be going public after all. The encrypted messaging app company plans to deliver “the first batches” of the coin in the next two months, according to a report at The New York Times. The last time we reported on the Gram, it was to note that Telegram was canceling its initial coin offering (ICO), so the news may come as a bit of a surprise unless you’ve been following Telegram and cryptocurrency closely. But if you have, you’ve probably heard a rumor that Telegram has a hard deadline to make it happen: if it doesn’t deliver by October 31st, it legally forfeits the $1.7 billion it raised to make those coins a reality. That October 31st deadline is real, according to legal documents reviewed by the Times, so the company’s trying to make those coins real, too, and as quickly as possible. Users will apparently store them in a Gram digital wallet, one that Telegram plans to offer to all its 200+ million users around the world, according to three anonymous investors who spoke to the publication. It’s not quite clear how regulators might deal with a new Telegram cryptocurrency, seeing how Telegram itself is a decentralized messaging operation that’s happily tangled with governments in the past. Facebook’s Libra is the closest parallel, but one based in the United States, and it’s already encountered quite a bit of early scrutiny. Source
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  14. Instant messaging service Telegram has rolled out a fix over the weekend to prevent hackers from abusing voicemail accounts to gain access to other users' accounts. The trick, known as a "voicemail hack" or "voicemail hijack," has been used in the past few months to gain access to over 1,000 Telegram accounts in Brazil, including ones belonging to local politicians. Some of the most high-profile victims of recent attacks include Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, Justice Minister Sergio Moro, and Economy Minister Paulo Guedes. How the voicemail hack works The "voicemail hack" revolves around the process of adding a Telegram account to a new device. For this operation, a user can request that a one-time passcode be sent via a voice message call to the account owner's phone number. If the account owner failed to answer the call for three consecutive times, or if the user was busy with another call, the one-time passcode would be sent to the user's voicemail account, provided by the user's mobile telco. Hackers would then use VoIP services to spoof the victim's phone number, access the voicemail account, use a default password of 0000 or 1234 (which most users don't change), and retrieve the one-time passcode. With the one-time passcode, hackers would then add another user's Telegram account to their own device. While some crooks used this trick to hijack legitimate accounts to send spam, some hackers used it to gain access to the message history of famous Brazilian politicians. Telegram rolls out a fix over the weekend But starting this weekend, Telegram has rolled out a fix to prevent the attack from working. "As of recently, it is only possible to request a code via call if your account is protected with two-step verification," a Telegram spokesperson told ZDNet. The fix has been rolled out for all Telegram users, and not just those in Brazil, Telegram confirmed. This very same "voicemail hack" didn't only work against Telegram. The hack has been known since 2017 and was initially discovered and abused to hijack WhatsApp accounts. Since then, security researchers proved the trick could also be used to hijack accounts at many other services, such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, WordPress, eBay, or PayPal. Source
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  16. Researchers have reported a vulnerability in the Android versions of WhatsApp and Telegram that could allow malicious actors to manipulate media files sent via the apps. This “media file-jacking” flaw could allow attackers to alter photographs, modify invoices (to aid in a financial scam), swap out files in a particular channel feed, or potentially even manipulate audio messages, warned cyber-software firm Symantec in a July 15 company blog post. “The media file-jacking threat is especially concerning in light of the common perception that the new generation of IM apps is immune to content manipulation and privacy risks,” wrote Symantec blog post authors Yair Amit, VP and CTO of modern OS security, and Alon Gat, software engineer. “However, as we’ve mentioned in the past, no code is immune to security vulnerabilities. While end-to-end encryption is an effective mechanism to ensure the integrity of communications, it isn’t enough if app-level vulnerabilities exist in the code.” The researchers said the vulnerability exists because WhatsApp, in its default mode, and Telegram, when its “Save to Gallery” feature is enabled, both store media files that are received by a device in external storage. Storing them externally instead of internally means that other apps, including malicious ones that the user may have downloaded, now have the ability to access and modify the media files, provided that said apps are granted certain write-to-external storage permissions. That leaves media files vulnerable to malicious manipulation and data integrity attacks in window of time between when received media are initially received and written to the disk and when they are loaded into the apps’ chat user interface, Symantec explained. “Think of it like a race between the attacker and the app loading the files. If the attacker gets to the files first – this can happen almost in real time if the malware monitors the public directories for changes – recipients will see the manipulated files before ever seeing the originals,” the Symantec blog post said. “Additionally, data can be manipulated on WhatsApp both when sending files – meaning the attack is launched on the sender’s device – and when receiving files – with the attack happening on the receiving device.” (Embedded within Symantec’s post is a YouTube video clip in which the researchers provide a humorous example of how an image might be altered, replacing two men’s faces with the visage of actor Nicholas Cage.) App users can insulate themselves from a media file-jacking attack by disabling the feature that saves media files to external storage, reported the Symantec team, which also recommended that app developers use internal storage whenever possible, encrypt sensitive files and validate the integrity of files by storing “in a metadata file a hash value for each received media file before writing it to the disk.” Symantec said it disclosed the issue to both Telegram and WhatsApp parent company Facebook. SC Media has reached out to these two companies for comment. “WhatsApp has looked closely at this issue and it’s similar to previous questions about mobile device storage impacting the app ecosystem,” said a WhatsApp spokesperson in a statement provided to SC Media. “WhatsApp follows current best practices provided by operating systems for media storage and looks forward to providing updates in line with Android’s ongoing development. The suggested changes here [in Symantec’s blog post] could both create privacy complications for our users and limit how photos and files could be shared.” Source
  17. "Everyone is in deep fear of having their own identity exposed," one demonstrator said. Thousands of protesters took take part in a rally against an extradition law proposed in Hong Kong. HONG KONG — College student Naida Lam didn't think much about her digital privacy until June 11. It was the night before massive protests in Hong Kong against a law that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China. Like many students, Lam, 20, had been using the encrypted messaging app Telegram, participating in group chats that were used to plan and coordinate ahead of the demonstration. But that night, Hong Kong authorities arrested the administrator of one of the largest of these groups. For Lam it was a wake-up call. "When my friends told me that another group's administrator got arrested, immediately I feared that something will happen in the group I was in," Lam said. "I left the group and changed all my privacy settings." The arrested Telegram administrator, Ivan Ip, 22, managed a chat of more than 30,000 members. While protesters were starting to gather around Hong Kong's government headquarters, police turned up at Ip's house and arrested him for conspiracy to commit public nuisance. It was not clear how the police were able to identify Ip, raising questions about whether officials had infiltrated the group itself. Lam said the arrest put people on alert that they could also be identified. "Everyone is in deep fear of having their own identity exposed on Telegram," Lam said, "and all were trying to help each other to hide our identities." The arrest did not appear to put a dent in the protests. Thousands of people occupied major roads and surrounded the Legislative Council building — the Hong Kong government's headquarters — preventing lawmakers entering for a meeting to discuss the bill. Protesters shine lights from their mobile phones during one of the demonstrations on June 16. A small group of the demonstrators clashed with police, overturning barricades and throwing objects at the officers, who fired pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets. The legislation was eventually postponed indefinitely, and Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's chief executive, was forced to issue a public apology. But the digital crackdown nevertheless left its mark. Internet-savvy young people, who once only saw the upsides of a technology that helped them organize protests, have grown increasingly wary of surveillance. They are worried the extradition law is the latest step in Hong Kong, a semiautonomous capitalist city, being drawn into the murky legal system of mainland China. Beijing has created a sophisticated surveillance state, and has emerged as a world leader in facial recognition technology. It's a concern that extends beyond messaging apps. During the protests, there was the unfamiliar sight of people waiting in line to buy paper tickets at the city's train station. Usually they use a contactless digital card, named Octopus, but many were avoiding this because they feared leaving digital tracks. Meanwhile, others decided to clear their phone's location history, and delete any other data that might give away their whereabouts. Many discouraged their fellow demonstrators from taking photos and videos because they might be posted online. Shouts of "do not post it on social media" were heard throughout the marches. demonstrator outside the Legislative Council building on June 21. Tam, 24, who declined to provide his first name in fear of being prosecuted, was among the thousands who dressed in black and engaged in a sit-down protest outside the Legislative Council on Monday afternoon. "I usually use story mode for Instagram, as it is harder to leave a record," Tam said, referring to the app's feature where posts automatically disappear after 24 hours. "If I leave a record, I'm afraid it could be used against me in the future." As well as their digital efforts, many protesters deployed the more traditional tactic of wearing a mask, something that has become commonplace in Hong Kong in recent years. Protesters that spoke with NBC News said the realities of modern surveillance have changed even in the five years since Hong Kong's pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, which flooded the streets for 79 days in 2014. "People are now more aware of their own safety before taking any action. Some would even consult a lawyer's suggestion before acting," said John Jung, a 20-year-old university student. Jung, who runs one of the area's few civilian-led first-aid stations, said he and colleagues still used encrypted messaging apps, but now limit the number of people stored in the contacts list. "The lesser number of people knowing about our internal information the better," he said. "This is to prevent any form of information leakage." Source
  18. Telegram Gained 3 Million New Users During WhatsApp, Facebook Outage WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram faced a widespread outage yesterday with users from around the world reporting issues with sending messages on WhatsApp and Messenger, posting feeds on Facebook and accessing other features on the three Facebook-owned platforms. While the outage was quite troubling both for the social media giant and its millions of users, guess who benefits the most out of the incident? TELEGRAM. Pavel Durov, the founder of the popular secure messaging platform Telegram, claims to have had a surge in sign-ups within the last 24 hours, at the time duration when its rival messaging services were facing downtime. "I see 3 million new users signed up for Telegram within the last 24 hours," Durov wrote on his Telegram channel. "Good. We have true privacy and unlimited space for everyone." Telegram is an excellent alternative to Facebook's Messenger and WhatsApp services, offering users an optional end-to-end encrypted messaging feature, so that no one, not even Telegram, can access them. Telegram adopted end-to-end encryption support way back in 2013—three years before WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Besides this, Telegram messenger has introduced many unique features in recent months that no other widely-adopted messaging app is yet offering. Two of these features include: Multiple Account Support: Users can add up to 3 Telegram accounts and easily switch between them simultaneously without logging out. Create Polls: Telegram offers built-in polling feature for large communities, allowing them to coordinate their activities and discuss complex issues efficiently. The telegram has previously faced restrictions and bans in countries like Iran, as well as in its home country Russia, after Durov refused to comply with government requests for encryption keys and information on its users. "In 5+ years, Telegram disclosed exactly zero bytes of private data to third-parties including governments. That's why Telegram is banned by authoritarian governments such as Russia and Iran. Other apps such as WhatsApp have no issues with there," Durov said in a tweet. Since Durov telegram message doesn't offer any explanation for the sudden spike in the Telegram sign-ups, The Hacker News has reached out to him and will update this article as soon as we hear back. Source
  19. Telegram for Desktop is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it’s super-fast, simple and free. You can use Telegram on all your devices at the same time — your messages sync seamlessly across any number of your phones, tablets or computers. Download Telegram Offline Installer Setup for PC! With Telegram, you can send messages, photos, videos and files of any type (doc, zip, mp3, etc), as well as create groups for up to 1000 people or channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences. You can write to your phone contacts and find people by their usernames. As a result, Telegram is like SMS and email combined — and can take care of all your personal or business messaging needs. You can download Telegram for PC offline installer from our site by clicking on free download button. What can you do with Telegram? Connect from most remote locations. Coordinate groups of up to 1000 members. Synchronize your chats across all your devices. Send documents of any type. Encrypt personal and business secrets. Destruct your messages with a timer. Store your media in the cloud. Build your own tools on our API. Enjoy feedback from your customers. Changelog v 1.3.14: Fix a crash in calls. v 1.3.13: Export data from individual chats using the '...' menu. Added a new night theme. You can now assign custom themes as night and day themes to quickly switch between them. Support for Telegram Passport 1.1 and improved password hashing algorithm to better protect Telegram Passport data. v 1.3.12: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.11: Added a new night theme. You can now assign custom themes as night and day themes to quickly switch between them. v 1.3.10: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.9 Mark chats in the chat list as Read or Unread. Improved censorship circumvention. v 1.3.8: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.7: Push fixes to stable version. v 1.3.6: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.5: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.4: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.3: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.2: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.1: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.0: Improved censorship circumvention. Improved stability when working through proxy servers. Save several proxy servers to quickly switch between them in Settings. Use proxy for calls. Emoji and text replacement now happens immediately after typing (instead of after sending) and can be rolled back using Backspace or CTRL/CMD + Z. Replacement no longer happens when pasting text. Added formatting shortcuts. Select text and use: CTRL/CMD + B/I for bold and italic CTRL/CMD + K to create or edit a custom link CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + M for monospace font CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + N to clear formatting Homepage Changelog - only major versions Github page - Source code & all builds changelog FAQ ███ Desktop Windows or Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tsetup/tsetup.1.3.14.exe Portable or Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tsetup/tportable.1.3.14.zip Mac or Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tmac/tsetup.1.3.14.dmg App Store or Direct Link App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/telegram-desktop/id946399090 Linux x64 or Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tlinux/tsetup.1.3.14.tar.xz Linux x86 or Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tlinux32/tsetup32.1.3.14.tar.xz v1.3.13: Win Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tsetup/tsetup.1.3.13.exe Portable Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tsetup/tportable.1.3.13.zip Mac Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tmac/tsetup.1.3.13.dmg Linux x64 Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tlinux/tsetup.1.3.13.tar.xz Linux x86 Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tlinux32/tsetup32.1.3.13.tar.xz ███ Phone Android or Direct Link Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.telegram.messenger iphone / ipad or Direct Link App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/telegram-messenger/id686449807 Windows Phone
  20. A vulnerability in Telegram Desktop results in the end-user public and private IP addresses being leaked during a call, a security researcher has discovered. A cloud-based instant messaging and voice-over-IP service, Telegram was designed to provide users with secure communication capabilities, as messages are heavily encrypted and can self-destruct. Tracked as CVE-2018-17780, the newly discovered issue affects Telegram Desktop (aka tdesktop) 1.3.14, and Telegram 3.3.0.0 WP8.1 on Windows, and is the result of a default, unsafe behavior where peer-to-peer (P2P) connections are accepted from clients outside of the My Contacts list. Security researcher Dhiraj Mishra discovered that a default setting where Telegram clients used P2P connections while initiating a call could result in the user’s IP address being leaked. Additional connection options are available in Settings > Privacy and security > Calls > peer-to-peer, but there was no option for setting “P2P > nobody” in tdesktop and Telegram for Windows, thus causing a privacy issue, the researcher says. According to Mishra, a user’s IP address could leak on Telegram for Android as well, provided that the option hasn’t been set to “Settings > Privacy and security > Calls > peer-to-peer > nobody.” However, the Android client does provide the option. To trigger the vulnerability in tdesktop, one would simply need to launch the application and initiate a call to another user, as the client would leak the IP address during call initialization. The bug manifests itself even for incoming calls, with the recipient being able to view the public/private IP address of the caller in logs. The IP leaks even if the call is made from a Windows Phone. “Not only the MTProto Mobile Protocol fails here in covering the IP address, rather such information can also be used for OSINT,” the researcher notes. Telegram Desktop 1.3.17 beta and v1.4.0 are no longer impacted. The vulnerability has been addressed with the addition of an option for setting P2P to Nobody/My contacts. Mishra received a €2000 ($2300) bug bounty reward for the discovery. Source
  21. Today’s Telegram update brings you an easy way to save conversations on your disk. In just a few taps, you can export some (or all) of your chats, including photos and other media they contain. As a result you’ll get all your data accessible offline in JSON-format or in beautifully formatted HTML. Data Export Results To use this feature, make sure you have the latest version of Telegram Desktop installed on your computer, then click Settings > Export Telegram data. This tool will be particularly useful for users who have millions of messages and can’t easily access the oldest parts of their messaging history. You can export individual chats by opening the … menu in any chat and choosing Export chat history. Exceptions in Notifications Telegram was the first app to give its users notorious flexibility in fine-tuning how their message notifications work. Today we are taking this further by adding Exceptions to the notifications settings, where you can see which chats are excluded from the global settings you defined in Settings > Notifications. Notifications Exceptions Muting all chats but a few (or vice versa) has never been easier. Improved Telegram Passport We’ve been overwhelmed by the reception of Telegram Passport – the tool to log into third-party apps that require real-life identity. Just two weeks after its launch, Passport can be used to sign up for many services, from established sharing economy services to blockchain startups. To name just a few projects that integrated Telegram Passport: Sum & Substance (KYC & user verification), CEX.IO and Xena (cryptocurrency exchanges), CryptoPay (wallet), YouDrive (carsharing), Profi and Worki (job marketplaces), Minter Network and Minexcoin (blockchain startups), KICKICO, Cryptonomos and ICOadmin (ICO platforms). Building on this success, today we’re upgrading Passport to support names in original languages and additional types of documents. We’ve also strengthened the algorithms that encrypt Passport data to better protect your data against hacking attacks coming from Telegram (however unlikely those may seem). This way we further ensure that only you have access to your private data. Source Code and APIs As always, you do not have to take our word on how our encryption works. The updated source code of Telegram apps reflecting all of today’s changes is available on GitHub and open for everybody to review. If you are a developer of a service that requires identity verification, make sure you check out these docs explaining how Telegram Passport can be integrated into your app. Source
  22. Our digital lives are getting closer and closer to the real world, and the number of services that need to know your real-life ID increases accordingly. Before today, this meant you had to upload the same document scans over and over for each new app. No more! Meet Telegram Passport – a unified authorization method for services that require personal identification. Upload your documents once, then instantly share your data with services that require real-world ID (finance, ICOs, etc.). Protected by End-to-End Encryption Your identity documents and personal data will be stored in the Telegram cloud using End-to-End Encryption. To Telegram, this data is just random gibberish, and we have no access to the information you store in your Telegram Passport. When you share data, it goes directly to the recipient. Sharing Data with an App In the future, all Telegram Passport data will move to a decentralized cloud. Try It Now If you'd like to see a real-life implementation of Telegram Passport, head over to ePayments.com – the first electronic payments system to support registration and verification with Telegram Passport. You can also try out how Telegram Passport works using this page to request data. Please note that you need the latest version of Telegram to access this feature. Once you've uploaded some documents, you will see your data in Settings > Privacy & Security > Telegram Passport (on iOS: Settings > Telegram Passport). If you're a developer or owner of a service that requires real-life ID, kindly take a look at this manual. Stay Tuned Soon, we will add third-party verification for Telegram Passports. This way, some services won't even need to request the data itself, instead relying on the fact that the Telegram account was verified by a verification provider and the person is real. July 26, 2018 The Telegram Team Source
  23. Telegram for Desktop is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it’s super-fast, simple and free. You can use Telegram on all your devices at the same time — your messages sync seamlessly across any number of your phones, tablets or computers. Download Telegram Offline Installer Setup for PC! With Telegram, you can send messages, photos, videos and files of any type (doc, zip, mp3, etc), as well as create groups for up to 1000 people or channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences. You can write to your phone contacts and find people by their usernames. As a result, Telegram is like SMS and email combined — and can take care of all your personal or business messaging needs. You can download Telegram for PC offline installer from our site by clicking on free download button. What can you do with Telegram? Connect from most remote locations. Coordinate groups of up to 1000 members. Synchronize your chats across all your devices. Send documents of any type. Encrypt personal and business secrets. Destruct your messages with a timer. Store your media in the cloud. Build your own tools on our API. Enjoy feedback from your customers. Changelog v 1.3.10: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.9 Mark chats in the chat list as Read or Unread. Improved censorship circumvention. v 1.3.8: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.7: Push fixes to stable version. v 1.3.6: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.5: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.4: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.3: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.2: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.1: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.0: Improved censorship circumvention. Improved stability when working through proxy servers. Save several proxy servers to quickly switch between them in Settings. Use proxy for calls. Emoji and text replacement now happens immediately after typing (instead of after sending) and can be rolled back using Backspace or CTRL/CMD + Z. Replacement no longer happens when pasting text. Added formatting shortcuts. Select text and use: CTRL/CMD + B/I for bold and italic CTRL/CMD + K to create or edit a custom link CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + M for monospace font CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + N to clear formatting Homepage Changelog - only major versions Github page - Source code & all builds changelog FAQ ███ Desktop Windows or Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tsetup/tsetup.1.3.10.exe Portable or Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tsetup/tportable.1.3.10.zip Mac or Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tmac/tsetup.1.3.10.dmg App Store or Direct Link App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/telegram-desktop/id946399090 Linux x64 or Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tlinux/tsetup.1.3.10.tar.xz Linux x86 or Direct Link: https://updates.tdesktop.com/tlinux32/tsetup32.1.3.10.tar.xz ███ Phone Android or Direct Link Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.telegram.messenger iphone / ipad or Direct Link App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/telegram-messenger/id686449807 Windows Phone
  24. Telegram for Desktop is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it’s super-fast, simple and free. You can use Telegram on all your devices at the same time — your messages sync seamlessly across any number of your phones, tablets or computers. Download Telegram Offline Installer Setup for PC! With Telegram, you can send messages, photos, videos and files of any type (doc, zip, mp3, etc), as well as create groups for up to 1000 people or channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences. You can write to your phone contacts and find people by their usernames. As a result, Telegram is like SMS and email combined — and can take care of all your personal or business messaging needs. You can download Telegram for PC offline installer from our site by clicking on free download button. What can you do with Telegram? Connect from most remote locations. Coordinate groups of up to 1000 members. Synchronize your chats across all your devices. Send documents of any type. Encrypt personal and business secrets. Destruct your messages with a timer. Store your media in the cloud. Build your own tools on our API. Enjoy feedback from your customers. Changelog v 1.3.8: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.7: Push fixes to stable version. v 1.3.6: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.5: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.4: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.3: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.2: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.1: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.0: Improved censorship circumvention. Improved stability when working through proxy servers. Save several proxy servers to quickly switch between them in Settings. Use proxy for calls. Emoji and text replacement now happens immediately after typing (instead of after sending) and can be rolled back using Backspace or CTRL/CMD + Z. Replacement no longer happens when pasting text. Added formatting shortcuts. Select text and use: CTRL/CMD + B/I for bold and italic CTRL/CMD + K to create or edit a custom link CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + M for monospace font CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + N to clear formatting Homepage Changelog - only major versions Github page - Source code & all builds changelog FAQ ███ Desktop Windows Portable Mac App Store Linux x64 Linux x86 ███ Phone Android iphone / ipad Windows Phone
  25. Telegram for Desktop is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it’s super-fast, simple and free. You can use Telegram on all your devices at the same time — your messages sync seamlessly across any number of your phones, tablets or computers. Download Telegram Offline Installer Setup for PC! With Telegram, you can send messages, photos, videos and files of any type (doc, zip, mp3, etc), as well as create groups for up to 1000 people or channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences. You can write to your phone contacts and find people by their usernames. As a result, Telegram is like SMS and email combined — and can take care of all your personal or business messaging needs. You can download Telegram for PC offline installer from our site by clicking on free download button. What can you do with Telegram? Connect from most remote locations. Coordinate groups of up to 1000 members. Synchronize your chats across all your devices. Send documents of any type. Encrypt personal and business secrets. Destruct your messages with a timer. Store your media in the cloud. Build your own tools on our API. Enjoy feedback from your customers. Changelog v 1.3.7: Push fixes to stable version. v 1.3.6: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.5: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.4: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.3: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.2: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.1: Bug fixes and other minor improvements. v 1.3.0: Improved censorship circumvention. Improved stability when working through proxy servers. Save several proxy servers to quickly switch between them in Settings. Use proxy for calls. Emoji and text replacement now happens immediately after typing (instead of after sending) and can be rolled back using Backspace or CTRL/CMD + Z. Replacement no longer happens when pasting text. Added formatting shortcuts. Select text and use: CTRL/CMD + B/I for bold and italic CTRL/CMD + K to create or edit a custom link CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + M for monospace font CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + N to clear formatting Homepage Changelog - only major versions Github page - Source code & all builds changelog FAQ ███ Desktop Windows Portable Mac App Store Linux x64 Linux x86 ███ Phone Android iphone / ipad Windows Phone
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