Telegram is a free and open-source platform that offers cloud-based instant messaging to its users. The service is also popular for its end-to-end encrypted chats, file sharing, and video calling feature. In other words, Telegram is a WhatsApp alternative.
According to recent reports, Telegram is the new dark web, and we can say this with absolute guarantee because of an investigation conducted by The Financial Times and Cyberint, a well-known cyber intelligence group.
The report says that because of Telegram’s super-secure end-to-end encryption and lack of scrutiny from the government, cybercriminals have been loving the platform. Cybercriminal activity on the platform has reportedly increased fourfold in the recent past, and this shows how cybercriminals have made Telegram their new dark web, simply because it is easier to use.
The Financial Times reports that this increase in cyber-criminal activities on Telegram has increase since angry WhatsApp users switched to Telegram to have the same benefits of instant messaging with extra security and privacy.
Yes, blame it on WhatsApp. If you remember, a few months back WhatsApp announced an update in its policy and terms of service, literally forcing users to accept their new terms and conditions wherein it would share data with its parent company, Facebook Inc. Privacy activists and consumers were outraged by WhatsApp’s revised policy, so much so, that they decided to switch from WhatsApp entirely and move to secure alternatives like Telegram and Signal.
Cybercriminal activities on Telegram have increased only after this bulk migration took place. As mentioned in a report by Engadget, bad actors on Telegram are reportedly selling financial information for thousands of users online with over 600,000 email IDs and password combinations. Credit card numbers, copies of credible documents, passports, etc. are also part of this fraud that is happening on Telegram.
However, Telegram as a company is taking this very seriously, as it should. The instant messaging platform says that it has a policy to remove personal data which is shared without the users’ consent. Telegram is reportedly removing over 10,000 users every day for violating its terms of service, as noted by Engadget.
In my opinion that resonates with thousands of other users, WhatsApp is a safe platform when it comes to criminal activities like Facebook, and apparently, the government is always keeping the instant messaging platform in check. Whereas, Telegram, on the other hand, is less likely to be monitored by authorities. This is exactly why cybercriminals have made Telegram, the new dark web.