Phone Numbers And Private Data Of Telegram Users Allegedly Exposed To Darknet
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One of the biggest privacy focused messaging apps in the world, telegram has recently suffered a data leak that has revealed some personal data held by many of its users to the darknet.
A database that has millions of personal data of many users on the network have been posted on a forum on the darknet. This was public knowledge as of the 23rd of June as it was first reported by a Russian language tech publication, Kod.ru.
The report highlights that the database contains phone numbers and unique telegram user IDs but it is unclear as to how many users data was leaked with the database file being as big as 900MB.
The leak has been allegedly acknowledged by Telegram and they have noted that the information in the database is mostly outdated. According to reports though, 84% of data entries in the database were collected before the middle of last year that would make around 60% of the league database outdated.
This isn’t the first time that phone numbers on telegram have been leaked though. Looking back into August last year, activists in Hong Kong noted a vulnerability that exposed their numbers and allowed Chinese law-enforcement agencies to track the identities of many protesters. In response to this, the application expanded its privacy tools in September that year and they even brought in a feature that allowed it’s user base to show with their phone number to know one at all.
The description of this feature states:
“If you set Who Can See My Phone Number to ‘Nobody’, a new option will appear below, allowing you to control your visibility for those who already have it. Setting Who Can Find Me By My Number to ‘My Contacts’ will ensure that random users who add your number as a contact are unable to match your profile to that number.”