A recent cyberattack on the Telegram encrypted messaging service may have originated in China as part of a campaign to disrupt use of the app to coordinate ongoing protests in Hong Kong.
Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov tweeted on Wednesday that the messaging service had been hit with a “state actor-sized” Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, with “garbage requests” flooding its servers, disrupting communications.
IP addresses coming mostly from China. Historically, all state actor-sized DDoS (200-400 Gb/s of junk) we experienced coincided in time with protests in Hong Kong (coordinated on @telegram). This case was not an exception.
— Pavel Durov (@durov) June 12, 2019
DDoS attacks are generally waged using a botnet, which include hijacked connected devices infected with malware, thich a huge amount of spurious requests, which prevents the targeted servers from processing legitimate requests.
Durov’s tweet indicate the requests came from IP addresses inside China, and coincided with the protests in Hong Kong.
Thousands of protestors have been marching in the streets in Hong Kong, protesting a controversial law that would allow Hong Kong residents to be extradited to China.
Chinese state media claims the protests are being motivated by outside forces in an attempt to undermine social stability in the region.