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Are Cybercriminals Now Operating from Telegram Because Of Reduced Restrictions?

By Noir Sept. 29, 2021, 9 a.m.
Are Cybercriminals Now Operating from Telegram Because Of Reduced Restrictions?

Cybercriminals are now operating from Telegram. It has relaxed moderation rules than other apps. As a result, it is a preferred platform for hackers and cybercriminals.

Every now and then, explicit video goes viral on social media. We all harry to the platforms to check it out. We rush to our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts but find the video already flagged. But that never stops us because there’s always a way to get to it. Yes, we are talking about the undisputed Telegram app.
Just within the comments of the flagged video lies a telegram link. The telegram app grants access to all kinds of unmoderated content. Indeed, Telegram is an app where everything goes.

Are Cybercriminals Now Operating from Telegram?

Yes, cybercriminals are now operating from Telegram. Telegram is among WhatsApp’s primary adversaries. Unlike WhatsApp, it has relaxed moderation rules. As a result, it is a preferred platform for hackers and cybercriminals.
Cyberint carried out a study on cybercriminal activities on behalf of Financial Times. The study showed that cybercriminals are now operating from Telegram. They are using the app to trade leaked data more than other mainstream platforms.

Why Are Cybercriminals Now Switching to Telegram?

Hackers and cybercriminals usually prefer to operate from the dark web. But not everyone can reach the darknet. This minimizes the number of customers trading in the black market. Moreover, it limits the number of products available in the dark market.
Therefore, Telegram serves as the best option for the hackers and culprits. Telegram has minimal moderation for users. Moreover, its end-to-end encryption provides privacy. Also, it is easy to join groups through links or by searching the names. The groups and channels have about 200 000 subscribers.
Adding to that is that the app is very easy to download. Setting up an account is also straightforward.

What Do Analysts Say About the Shift to Telegram?

Tal Samra, a threat analyst at Cyberint had a few comments regarding the issue. Samara says that Telegram’s features make it unique. The features increased cybercriminal usage by more than a hundred percent.
Its unique features make it increasingly popular among cybercriminals. Treat actors use the app to conduct fraudulent activities and trade stolen data. Samara adds that Telegram is more convenient to use than the darknet.

What Are Some of The Terms Used by Hackers in Telegram?

Cybernet’s findings also highlighted some terms cybercriminals use on Telegram. The criminals use the words usually used in the dark web. These terms rose four times on Telegram between 2020 and 2021. Hackers use these words in trading stolen passwords and emails.
The study also identified a channel dubbed Combolist. This name references hacker terminology. Moreover, hackers use it to sell stolen data.
The Combolist channel had 47,000 subscribers. However, the channel got shut down after an inquiry from the Financial Times. Cyberint also claims that several channels are black marketplaces. These channels trade hacking guides, personal documents, and financial data. Moreover, the channels are marketplaces for online account credentials and malware.
The study also uncovered that the darknet makes significant profits from Telegram. The researchers realized an increase in the number of Telegram links on the dark web. The links rose from 172,000 in 2020 to more than 1 million this year. Even so, Telegram retains its policy of removing content shared without consent.

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