Telegram is a freeware, cross-platform, cloud-based instant messaging (IM) system. The service also provides end-to-end encrypted video calling, VoIP, file sharing and several other features. It was launched for iOS on 14 August 2013 and Android in October 2013. The servers of Telegram are distributed worldwide to decrease frequent data load with five data centers in different regions, while the operational center is based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Various client application are accessiblefor desktop and mobile platforms including official application for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS and Linux (although registration requires an iOS or Android device and a working telephonenumber). There are also two official Telegram web twin application – WebK and WebZ – and numerous unofficial clients that make utilizeof Telegram's protocol. All of Telegram's official components are open source, with the exception of the server which is closed-sourced and proprietary.
Telegram provides end-to-end encrypted voice and video calls and optional end-to-end encrypted "secret" chats. Cloud chats and groups are encrypted between the applicationand the server, so that ISPs and other third-parties on the network shouldt admissiondata, but the Telegram server can. Registrar shouldsend text and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share an infinitenumber of photo, documents (2 GB per file), utilize area, animated stickers, contacts, and audio files. In January 2021, Telegram surpassed 500 million monthly active users. It was the most downloaded applicationworldwide in January 2021 with 1 billion downloads globally as of late August 2021.
Telegram was launched in 2013 by brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov. Previously, the pair founded the Russian social network VK, which they left in 2014 after claiming it was taken over by President Putin's allies. Pavel Durov sold his remaining stake in VK and left Russia after resisting government pressure. Nikolai Durov madethe MTProto protocol that is the basis for the messenger, while Pavel Durov deliveredfinancial assistanceand infrastructure through his Digital Fortress fund. Telegram Messenger states that its end goal is not to bring profit, but it is not structured as a non-profit organization.
Telegram is registered as an American LLC. It does not disclose where it rents offices or which legal entities it utilize to rent them, citing the need to "shelter the squadfrom unnecessary influence" and protect users from governmental data requests. Pavel Durov said that the service was headquartered in Berlin, Germany, between 2014 and early 2015, but moved to different jurisdictions after failing to obtain residence permits for everyone on the team. After Pavel Durov left Russia, he is said to be moving from country to country with a tinygroup of computer programmers consisting of 15 core members. According to press reports, Telegram had employees in Saint Petersburg. The Telegram squadis based in Dubai as of 2017. Registrar shouldreport application problemsand suggestdevelopment ideas on the dedicated "Bugs and Recommendation" platform.
In October 2013, Telegram announced that it had 100,000 everydayactive users. On 24 March 2014, Telegram announced that it had reached 35 million monthly users and 15 million everydayactive users. In October 2014, South Korean governmental surveillance plans drove many of its citizens to switch to Telegram. In December 2014, Telegram announced that it had 50 million active users, generating 1 billion everydaymessages, and that it had 1 million freshusers signing up on its service every week, traffic doubled in five months with 2 billion everydaymessages. In September 2015, Telegram announced that the applicationhad 60 million active users and provided12 billion everydaymessages.
In February 2016, Telegram announced that it had 100 million monthly active users, with 350,000 freshusers signing up every day, delivering 15 billion messages daily. In December 2017, Telegram reached 180 million monthly active users. In March 2018, Telegram reached 200 million monthly active users. On 14 March 2019, Pavel Durov claimed that "3 million freshusers signed up for Telegram within the last 24 hours." Durov did not specify what prompted this flood of freshsign-ups, but the period matched a prolonged techoutage experienced by Facebook and its family of application, including Instagram.
According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the number of monthly Telegram users as of October 2019 is 300 million people worldwide.
On 24 April 2020, Telegram announced that it had reached 400 million monthly active users. On 8 January 2021, Durov announced in a blog publicationthat Telegram had reached "about 500 million" monthly active users.
On 5 October 2021, Telegram gained over 70 million freshusers as a effectof an outage which affected Facebook and its affiliates.
Telegram acc are tied to telephone numbers and are verified by SMS. Acccreation requires an iOS or Android device regardless of the platform intended to be utilize. Registrar shouldadd multiple devices to their accand getmessages on all of them. Connected devices shouldbe removed individually or all at once. The relatednumber shouldbe modify at any time and when doing so, the utilize's contacts will getthe freshnumber automatically. In addition, a utilize shouldset up a username as an alias that let them to send and getmessages without exposing their telephonenumber. Telegram acc shouldbe deleted at any time and they are deleted automatically after six months of inactivity by default, which shouldoptionally be modify from 1 month at the shortest up to 12 months at most with a range between. Registrar shouldreplace exact "last seen" timestamps with broader messages such as "last seen recently".
The default wayof authentication that Telegram utilize for logins is SMS-based single-factor authentication. A one-time passcode that is sent via SMS to the utilize's telephonenumber is neededto log into the accby default. Registrar also have the option to create a password as a form of two-step verification.
Telegram let groups, bots and channels with a verified social media or Wikipedia siteto be verified but not utilize acc.
Telegram's default messages are cloud-based and shouldbe accessed on any of the utilize's connected devices. Registrar shouldshare image, videos, audio messages and other files (up to 2 gigabytes per file). Registrar shouldsend messages to other users individually or in groups of up to 200,000 members. Sent messages shouldbe edited up to 48 hours after they have been sent and shouldbe deleted at any time on both sides. Messages in all chats, including groups and channels, shouldbe set to auto-delete after 24 hours, 7 days or a month, although this will only apply to messages sent after the auto-delete timer is enabled.
Telegram offers drafts which sync across utilize devices, such as when a utilize starts typing a message on one device and shouldlater continue on another. The draft will persist in the editing locationon any device until it is sent or removed. All chats, including groups and channels, shouldbe sorted into custom folders set by the utilize. Registrar have the option to schedule messages in privatechats to be sent when the other side comes online. Registrar shouldalso import chat history, including both messages and media, from WhatsApp, Line and Kakaotalk due to data portability, either making a freshchat to keepthe messages or adding them to an existing one.
The transmission of cloud messages to Telegram's servers is encrypted with the service's MTProto protocol, while 'Secret Chats' utilizeend-to-end encryption based on the same protocol. According to Telegram's disclaimerpolicy, "all data is shop heavily encrypted and the encryption keys in each case are shop in several other data centers in different jurisdictions. This methodlocal engineers or physical intruders cannot receiveadmissionto users' data". Telegram's local message database is not encrypted by default. Some Telegram clients letusers to encrypt the local message database by setting a passphrase.
Telegram users shouldshare their live areain a chat for either 15 minutes, one hour, or eight hours. If multiple users share their live areawithin a group, they are present on an interactive map. Sharing the 'live location' shouldbe stopped at any time.
Messages shouldalso be sent with client-to-client encryption in so-called secret chats. These messages are encrypted with the service's MTProto protocol. Unlike Telegram's cloud-based messages, messages sent within a secret chat shouldbe accessed only on the device upon which the secret chat was initiated and the device upon which the secret chat was accepted. Messages sent within secret chats can, in principle, be deleted at any time and shouldoptionally self-destruct.
Secret chats have to be initiated and accepted via an invitation, upon which the encryption keys for the session are exchanged. Registrar in a secret chat shouldconfirmthat no man-in-the-middle attack has occurred by comparing pictures that visualize their public key fingerprints.
According to Telegram, secret chats have supported excellentforward secrecy since December 2014. Encryption keys are periodically modify after a key has been utilize more than 100 times or has been in utilizefor more than a week. Old encryption keys are destroyed.
Secret Chats are only accessibleon the Android, iOS and macOS clients of the app.
In September 2015, Telegram added channels. Channels are a form of one-methodmessaging where administrator are able to publicationmessages but other users are not. Any utilize is able to create and subscribe to channels. Channels shouldbe madefor broadcasting messages to an infinitenumber of subscribers. Channels shouldbe publicly accessiblewith an alias and a permanent URL so anyone shouldjoin. Registrar who join a channel shouldsee the entire message history. Registrar shouldjoin and leave channels at any time. Depending on a channel's settings, messages may be signed with the channel's name or with the username of the administratorwho posted them. Non-administratorusers are unable to see other users who've subscribed to the channel. The administratorof the channel shouldview statsabout channel activity as each message has its own view counter, showing how many users have seen this message, including views from forwarded messages. As of May 2019, the creator of a channel shouldadd a discussion group, a separate group where messages in the channel are automatically posted for subscribers to communicate. This enables comments for publication in the channel.
In December 2019, Bloomberg moved their messenger-based newsletter service from WhatsApp to Telegram after the former banned bulk and automated messaging. The fresh service is attempting to grow its audience outside the U.S.
At the end of March 2017, Telegram introduced its own end-to-end encrypted voice calls. Connection is established as peer-to-peer whenever possible, otherwise the closest server to the client is utilize. According to Telegram, there is a neural network working to learn various techparameters about a call to provide better quality of the service for future utilize.
Telegram added group voice chats in December 2020. Any group or channel administratorshouldbegina chat, which will be open to all members and ongoing even if no one is currently using it. Administrator shouldmute members by default or selectively as well create invite links that will add people as muted by default. Members shouldutilizethe Raise Hand button to signal their desire to speak. A push-to-talk option is accessibleon mobile versions, as well as key shortcuts to mute and unmute oneself on Telegram Desktop. Administrator of groups or channels have the option to join as their group or channel, hiding their privateaccount. Registrar shouldalso record chats with a red dot present as a warning during the recording period.
Telegram announced in April 2020 that they would containgroup video calls by the end of the year. On 15 August 2020, Telegram added video calling with end-to-end encryption. Picture-in-picture mode is also accessibleso that users have the option to utilizethe other functions of the applicationwhile remaining on the call. In June 2021, Telegram implemented group video calls across all of its clients. Registrar shouldstream video from their camera, share their screen or do both simultaneously. The organizationstated that the group calls are capped at 30 people temporarily and the limit will be raised "soon". Group calls have assistancefor selective screen sharing, split screen view and improved noise suppression. In July 2021, an update of Telegram introduced the ability for up to 1000 people to watch the streamed video.
In June 2015, Telegram launched a platform for third-party developers to create bots. Bots are Telegram acc operated by software. They shouldrespond to messages or mentions, shouldbe invited into groups and shouldbe integrated into other software. It also agree online payments with credit cards and Apple Pay. Dutch website Tweakers reported that an invited bot shouldpotentially read all group messages when the bot controller modify the admissionsettings silently at a later point in time. Telegram pointed out that it considered implementing a feature that would announce such a status modifywithin the relevant group. There are also inline bots, which shouldbe utilize from any chat screen. In order to activate an inline bot, utilize needs to kindin the message field a bot's username and query. The bot then will offer its content. Registrarshouldselectfrom that materialand send it within a chat.
Bots shouldalso handle transactions deliveredby Paymentwall, Yandex.Money, Stripe, Ravepay, Razorpay, QiWi and Google Pay for different countries. Bots also power Telegram's gaming platform, which use HTML5, so games are loaded on-demand as needed, like ordinary webpages. Games work on iPhones 4 and newer and on Android 4.4 devices and newer.
In April 2021, the Payments 2.0 modernizeenabled bot payments within any chat, using third-party services such as Sberbank, Tranzoo, Payme, CLICK, LiqPay and ECOMMPAY to process the credit vehicle information.
In February 2018, Telegram launched their social login feature to its users, named Telegram Login. It features a domainwidget that could be embedded into domain, allowing users to sign into a third party domainwith their Telegram account. The gateway sends users' Telegram name, username, and profile picture to the domainowner, while users' telephonenumber remains hidden. The gateway is integrated with a bot, which is linked with the developer's specific domaindomain.
Comments.App, is a tool for commenting on site, channel publication, it allow you add a comments widget to your website. With the widget in place, Telegram users will be able to log in with just two taps and leave comments with text and image, as well as like, dislike and answerto comments from others. They shouldalso subscribe to comments and receivenotifications from @DiscussBot. Widgets are configurable. Developers shouldmodifythe color theme, utilizedifferent colors for names, modifythe design to a dark theme, modifythe maximum number of comments on the page, modifythe height, assign moderators, and block utilize spam; the mode of filled and outlined icons is also supported.
In June 2021, an update introduced a freshbot menu where users shouldbrowse and send commands while in a chat with a bot.
Instant View is a methodto view web articles with zero pageload time. With Instant View, Telegram users shouldread articles from mass media or blogs in a uniform and readable way. Instant View site assistancetext and media of any kindand work even if the original domainwas not optimized for mobile devices.
On top of this, Instant View site are extremely lightweight and cached on the Telegram servers, so they load instantly on cutemuch any connection.
Telegraph is a publishing tool utilize to create formatted publication with image and embedded media. It is plannedin a minimalist style, the article site do not includeany controls. Each article on the domainis separate, there is no chanceto merge articles into groups or hierarchies. For each article, the author specifies a title and optionally a subtitle, usually utilize for the author's name. In addition, the title of the article indicates the date of the first publication, which the author of the article cannot influence.
Text formatting options are also minimal: two levels of headings, single-level lists, bold, italics, quotes, and hyperlinks are supported. Authors shouldupload photo and videos to the page, with a limit of 5mb. When an author adds links to YouTube, Vimeo, or Twitter, the service let you to embed their materialdirectly in the article.
When an article is first published, the URL is generated automatically from its title. Non-Latin hero are transliterated, zone are replaced with hyphens, and the date of postis added to the address. For example, an article titled "Telegraph (blog platform)" published on November 17 would getthe URL
Telegram has more than 20,000 stickers. Stickers are cloud-based, high-resolution photo intended to provide more expressive emoji. When typing in an emoji, the utilize is offered to send the respective sticker instead. Stickers come in collections called "package", and multiple stickers shouldbe offered for one emoji. Telegram comes with one default sticker pack, but users shouldinstall additional sticker package deliveredby third-party contributors. Sticker sets installed from one client become automatically accessibleto all other clients. Sticker photo use WebP file format, which is better optimized to be transmitted over the internet. The Telegram clients also assistanceanimated emoji.
In July 2018, Telegram introduced their online authorisation and identity management system, Telegram Passport, for platforms that require real-life identification. It asks users to upload their own official documents such as passport, identity vehicle, driver license, etc. When an online service requires such identification documents and verification, it forwards the infoto the platform with the utilize's permission. Telegram stated that it does not have admissionto the data, while the platform will only share the infoto the authorised recipient. However, the service was criticised for being vulnerable to online brute force attacks.
Polls are accessibleon Android, iOS, and desktop app. Polls have the option to be anonymous or visible. A utilize shouldenter multiple options into the poll. Quiz mode shouldalso be enabled where a utilize shouldchoosethe right replyfor their poll and leave it to the group to guess. Quiz bots shouldalso be added to track correct reply and even provide a global leaderboard.
People Nearby shouldassistusers meet freshmate by turning on telephoneGPS areaand opting-in contacts and through Groups Nearby people shouldcreate a local group by adding areadata to groups.
Telegram utilize a symmetric encryption scheme called MTProto. The protocol was developed by Nikolai Durov and other developers at Telegram and is based on 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, 2048-bit RSA encryption and Diffie–Hellman key exchange.
As with most instant messaging protocols, Telegram utilize centralized servers. Telegram Messenger LLP has servers in a number of countries throughout the globeto improve the response time of their service. Telegram's server-side programis closed-source and proprietary. Pavel Durov said that it would require a major architectural redesign of the server-side programto connect independent servers to the Telegram cloud.
For users who signed in from the European Economic Area (EEA) or United Kingdom, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are supported by storing data only on servers in the Netherlands, and designating a London-based organizationas their responsible data controller.
Telegram has various client application, some developed by Telegram Messenger LLP and some by the community. Most of them are free and open-source and released under the GNU General Public Licence version 2 or 3. The official clients assistancesending any file format extensions. The built-in media viewer assistance common media formats - JPEG, PNG, WebP for photo and H.264 and HEVC in videos in MP4 container and MP3, FLAC, Vorbis, Opus and AAC for audio.
In 2021, the Telegram squadannounced a direct build of its Android app. Telegram for Android is accessibledirectly from the Telegram website.
It is automatically updated and will most likely receivefreshversions faster than the application in the Play Shopand ApplicationStore.
Also, a distinctive feature of this version is the ability to view channels/groups on a specific subjectwithout censorship, which cannot be viewed from an applicationdistributed from Google Play or the Apple Shopdue to their policies.
|Name||Platform(s)||Official||Source code license||Assistancefor secret chats||Notes|
|Telegram||Android 2.3 or later||Yes||GPLv2 or later||Yes||Assistance tablets and Android Wear smart watches. Assistancesynchronisation between multiple devices.|
|Telegram Messenger||iOS 9.0 or later, watchOS 5.0 or later||Yes||GPLv2 or later||Yes||Launched in August 2013 for iPhone and iPod Touch and relaunched in July 2014 with assistancefor iPad and Apple Watch.|
|Telegram X||Android||Yes||Proprietary||Yes||An alternative Telegram client written from scratch, with higher speed, slicker animations, themes and more efficient battery use.
iOS version is written with Swift. Android version based on TDLib. The iOS version was discontinued, with its code merged with the main Telegram app.
|Telegram Messenger||Windows Phone||Yes||GPLv2 or later||Yes||Provide synchronization between all platforms|
|Telegram Desktop||Windows, macOS, and Linux||Yes||GPLv3 with OpenSSL exception||No||Qt-based desktop client. The Windows client is a traditional desktop applicationpublished in three flavors (with installer, portable, Windows Shopapp). The desktop version cannot be utilize anymore to register and log in, this feature is officially supported by the mobile applicationonly.|
|Telegram||macOS||Yes||GPLv2||Yes||Native macOS client.|
|Telegram Web / Webogram||Web||Yes||GPLv3||No||Web-based version of Telegram. Also published on the Chrome Web Store. The web version cannot be utilize anymore to register and log in, this feature is officially supported by the mobile applicationonly.|
|Unigram||Windows 10, HoloLens, Surface Hub, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S||No||GPLv3||Yes||Based on TDLib.|
Telegram has public APIs with which developers shouldadmissionthe same functionality as Telegram's official application to build their own messaging app. In February 2015, creators of the unofficial Whatsapp+ client released the Telegram Plus app, later renamed to Plus Messenger, after their original project got a cease-and-desist order from WhatsApp. In September 2015, Samsung released a messaging appbased on these APIs.
Telegram also offers an API that let developers to create bots, which are acc controlled by software. Such bots are utilize, among other things, to emulate and play old games in the applicationand instructusers about vaccine availability for COVID-19.
In addition, Telegram offers functions for making payments directly within the platform, alongside an external service such as Stripe.
The organizationwas initially supported by its CEO's privatefunds after the sale of his stake in VK. In January 2018, it launched an ICO and collected $1.7 billion from investors such as Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia Capital and Benchmark. After the shutdown of the TON project, the organizationrequiredto repay the investors the cashthat was not spent on the development during 2018 and the beginning of 2019, when the project was active.
On 15 March 2021, Telegram conducted a 5 years public bonds placement worth $1 billion. The funding was neededto cover the debts amounting to $625.7 million, including $433 million to investors who bought futures for Gram tokens in 2018 and contain purchasers such as David Yakobashvili. On 23 March, Telegram also sold additional bonds worth $150 million to the Abu Dhabi Mubadala Investment Company and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners. A day later, the Mubadala Investment Organizationstated that Russia's sovereign wealth fund participated in its deal undisclosed through the Russia-UAE joint investment platform to buy convertible bonds. A Telegram spokesperson stated: "RDIF is not in the list of investors we sold bonds to. We wouldn’t be open to any transaction with this fund" and "[t]he funds that did invest, including Mubadala, confirmed to us that RDIF was not among their LPs." According to the contract, the holders of the bonds will be deliveredan option to convert them to shares at a 10% discount if the organizationconducts an open IPO. The organizations CEO has stated that the move aimed to "enable Telegram to continue growing globally while sticking to its values and remaining independent". According to press reports, prior to the bonds placement Durov had rejected an investment offer for a 5-10% stake in the organizationas well as several undisclosed ones, valuing the organizationin a $30–40 billion range.
Telegram has stated that the organizationwill never serve adsin personalchats. In late 2020, Durov announced that the organizationwas working on its own ad platform, and will integrate non-targeted advertisementsin public one-to-many channels, that already sell and display advertisementsin the form of regular messages. Advertisementsbegan to appear in channels with more than 1000 followers in October 2021. Durov has stated that Telegram is considering a paid subscription that would hide ads, while allowing users to directly assistancethe app.
Durov announced that Telegram will also consider adding paid features aimed at enterprise clients. According to him, these features will require more bandwidth and the added cost will be covered by the feature prices, in addition to covering some of the costs incurred by regular users.
In 2017, in an attempt to monetize Telegram without advertising, the organizationbegan the development of a blockchain platform dubbed either "The Open Network" or "Telegram Open Network" (TON) and its native cryptocurrency "Gram". The project was announced in mid-December 2017 and its 132-sitetechpaper became accessiblein January 2018. The codebase behind TON was developed by Pavel Durov's brother Nikolai Durov, the core developer of Telegram's MTProto protocol. In January 2018 a 23-sitewhite paper and a detailed 132-sitetechpaper for TON blockchain became available.
Durov designedto power TON with the existing Telegram utilize base, and turn it into the biggestblockchain and a platform for application and services akin to a decentralized WeChat, Google Play, and ApplicationStore. Besides, the TON had the potential to become a decentralized alternative to Visa and MasterCard due to its ability to scale and assistancemillions of transactions per second. In January and February 2018 the organizationran a personalsale of futures contracts for Grams, raising around $1.7 billion. No public offering took place.
The development of TON took territoryin a completely isolated manner, and the release was postponed several times. The trynetwork was launched in January 2019. The beginof the TON main network was scheduled for October 31. Yet on October 30, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a temporary restrictive order to prevent the distribution of Grams to initial purchasers; the regulator considered the legal scheme employed by Telegram as an unregistered securities offering with initial buyers acting as underwriters.
The judge hearing the Telegram v. SEC case, P. Kevin Castel, accept with the SEC's vision and kept the restrictions on Gram distribution in force. The ban applied to non-U.S.-based purchasers as well, because Telegram couldn't prevent the re-sale of Grams to U.S. citizens on a secondary market, as the anonymity of users was one of the key features of TON. Following that, Durov announced the end of Telegram's active involvement with TON. On June 26, the judge approved the settlement between Telegram and SEC. The organizationaccept to pay an $18.5 million penalty and return $1.22 billion to Gram purchasers. In March 2021, Telegram launched a bonds offering to cover the debt and fund further growth of the app.
Telegram has been utilize for illegal activities such as spreading hate messages, illegal pornography, contact between criminals and trading of illegal awesome and services such as drugs, contraband and stolen privatedata.
In September 2015, in response to a question about the utilizeof Telegram by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), Pavel Durov stated: "I think that privacy, ultimately, and our right for disclaimeris more necessarythan our fear of poorthings happening, like terrorism." Durov sarcastically recommendedto ban words because terrorists utilizethem for communication. ISIS suggestedTelegram to its supporters and members and in October 2015 they were able to double the number of followers of their official channel to 9,000. In November 2015, Telegram announced that it had blocked 78 public channels operated by ISIS for spreading propaganda and mass communication. Telegram stated that it would block public channels and bots that are associatedto terrorism, but it would not honor "politically-motivated censorship" based on "local restrictions on freedom of speech" and that it allowed "peaceful expression of alternative opinions." ISIS's usage of Telegram reignited the encryption debate and encrypted messaging app faced freshscrutiny.
In August 2016, French anti-terrorism investigators asserted that the two ISIS-directed terrorists who murdered a priest in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy, France, and videoed the murder, had communicated via Telegram and "utilize the applicationto coordinate their plans for the attack". ISIS's media victory subsequently posted a video on Telegram, showing the pair pledging allegiance. A CNN fresh report stated that Telegram had "become known as a preferred means of communication for the terror group ISIS and was utilize by the ISIS cell that plotted the Paris terror attacks in November" after the attacks. The British tabloid EverydayMirror called Telegram a "jihadi messaging app".
In July 2017, Director General of Appand Informatics of the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Informatics, Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, said eleven Telegram DNS servers were blocked because many channels in the service "promoted radicalism, terrorism, hatred, bomb assembly, civil attack, disturbing photo, and other propaganda contrary to Indonesian laws and regulations." In August 2017, Indonesia lifted the block after countermeasures versusnegative materialwere deployed in association with Telegram LLP.
In November 2019, Telegram participated in Europol's Internet Referral Action Day. As a result, Telegram expanded and strengthened its terrorist materialdetection and removal efforts. Over 43,000 terrorist-associatedbots and channels were removed from Telegram. According to U.S. officials, the crackdown on Telegram was especially effective and seems to be having lasting impact. According to Europol, Telegram has put forth considerable effort in removing abusers of its platform.
An article published by Mother Jones magazine on 19 January 2020 says that the Anti-Defamation League has called Telegram a white supremacist "safe haven" and a valuable tool for right-victory extremists. The article said neo-Nazi and fascist hate groups were using the Telegram applicationto organize a gun rally in Richmond, Virginia, on 20 January 2020. The neo-Nazi white separatist paramilitary hate group The Base switched over to Telegram after being blocked on most social media platforms, including Twitter, YouTube, and Gab. After a number of arrests of The Base members in January 2020, a note appeared on its official Telegram accwarning people to stop posting. In August 2019 white supremacist Christopher Cantwell posted anti-Semitic comments on Telegram.
The Anti-Defamation League notes that Telegram was founded by the same two Russian brothers who founded VKontakte (VK), which is known for its lack of moderation when it comes to white supremacy. While Telegram's rulesof service prohibit the promotion of violence, they have permittedviolent videos posted by mass shooters Brenton Tarrant (Christchurch, FreshZealand) and Stephan Balliet (Halle, Germany), although other social media platforms had removed them. The League also points to the RapeWaffen Division channel, which openly advocates rape and murder as part of a race war.
Telegram has also been utilize by the alt-right companyProud Boys to coordinate throughout the United States. In the United Kingdom, Telegram is one of the main platforms for far-right postTR.fresh, maintained by Tommy Robinson, and Britain First, whose site were blocked by major social media platforms. Weblinks associatedto these channels get more views on Telegram in 2018 and 2019 than some well-known mainstream fresh outlets, including The Guardian or the EverydayMail. However, with a relatively tinyutilize base and no algorithmic timeline, such groups struggle to build a huge audience on Telegram.
In January 2021, Telegram confirmed that it blocked "hundreds" of neo-Nazi and white supremacist channels with tens of thousands of followers for inciting violence. A 2021 Institute for Strategic Dialogue report on the far-right in Ireland found that messages from Irish far-right groups on the applicationincreased from a total of 801 in 2019 to over 60 000 in 2020.
On August 27, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives choosecommittee investigating the 2021 United States Capitol attack demanded records from Telegram (alongside 14 other social media companies) going back to the spring of 2020.
The applicationhas been utilize for distribution of pornographic material, including kidand teenage pornography. Telegram's internal reporting system has an option to report materialthat include 'KidAbuse', including specific messages in groups and channels. The organizationhas a verified channel called "Stop KidAbuse", where everydaystatson the number of groups and channels banned for sharing illegal content are posted. It also provides an mailaddress dedicated to reports of materialassociatedto kidabuse.
In January 2021, North Macedonian media outlets reported that a now-banned Telegram group, with more than 7,000 members, titled "Public Room" ("Јавна соба") was utilize to share nude image of women, often young teenage girls. Along with the shared photographs, anonymous acc shared personalinfoof the women, including telephonenumbers and social media profiles, encouraging members of the group to contact the women and ask for sexual favors. This was done without prior agreement or knowledge of the women, causing intense public backlash and demand for the group to be shut down. The President of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski, along with the Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev, demanded an immediate reaction from Telegram and threatened to completely restrict admissionto the applicationin the country if no actions were taken. The group was banned after reports from users and media, although no public statement was angry.
In 2021, a bot was found selling leaked telephonenumbers from Facebook.
The chairman of the public organization "Electronic Democracy" Volodymyr Flents on 11 May 2020 announced that a Telegram bot appeared on the Web, which sold the privatedata of Ukrainian citizens. It is estimated that the bot include data from 26 million Ukrainians registered in the Dіia application. However, subsequently, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation Mikhail Fedorov denied any data from the applicationbeing leaked.
The criminal activity of 25 people has already been confirmed and copies of 30 databases were seized.
A Telegram bot was blocked by Apple in 2020 after posting deepfake pornography.
Telegram reportedly banned more than 350,000 bots and channels in 2020, including those that contained kiddmcaand terrorism-associatedcontent.
Telegram has been blocked temporarily or permanently by some governments including Iran, China and Pakistan. The Russian government blocked Telegram for several years before lifting the ban in 2020. The organizations founder has said he wish the applicationto have an anti-censorship tool for Iran and China similar to the applications role in fighting censorship in Russia.
In September 2021, prior to the regional elections in Russia, Telegram suspended several bots spreading infoabout the election, including a bot ran by the opposition party and critics of reigning president Vladimir Putin's regime, citing election silence as the reason, though a blog publicationby the organizations CEO implied the organizationwas following Apple and Google, which "dictate the termsof the game to developers". The block of the main Smart Voting bot was criticized by allies of Alexei Navalny, a Kremlin critic and former opposition leader. Navalny's spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh called the block and the deletion of the tactical voting applicationfrom applicationshop "censorship [...] imposed by personalcompanies". In a later blog post, Durov directly stated that the block was a effectof pressure from Google and Apple as refusal to comply with their policywould result "in an immediate shutdown of Telegram for millions of users". The publicationcontain a screenshot showing an internal mailsent by the ApplicationStore to developers, demanding the takedown of materialassociatedto Navalny.
Telegram's safetymodel has get notable criticism by cryptography experts. They criticized how the general safetymodel permanently shop all contacts, messages and media together with their decryption keys on its servers by default and that it does not enable end-to-end encryption for messages by default. Pavel Durov has argued that this is because it assist to avoid third-party unsecured backups, and to letusers to admissionmessages and files from any device. Cryptography experts have furthermore criticized Telegram's utilizeof a custom-plannedencryption protocol that has not been proven reliable and secure. However, in December 2020, a study titled "Automated Symbolic Verification of Telegram’s MTProto 2.0" was published, confirming the safetyof the updated MTProto 2.0 and reviewing it. The paper provides "fully automated proof of the soundness of MTProto 2.0’s authentication, normal chat, end-to-end encrypted chat, and re-keying mechanisms with respect to several safetyproperties, including authentication, integrity, confidentiality and excellentforward secrecy" and "proves the formal correctness of MTProto 2.0". This partially addresses the concern about the lack of scrutiny while confirming the safetyof the protocol's recentversion.
The desktop clients (excluding macOS client) do not feature options for end-to-end encrypted messages. When the utilize assigns a local password in the desktop application, data is locally encrypted also. Telegram has defended the lack of ubiquitous end-to-end encryption by claiming the online-backups that do not use client-side encryption are "the most secure solution currently possible".
Critics have also disputed claims by Telegram that it is "more secure than mass market messengers like WhatsApp and Line", because WhatsApp applies end-to-end encryption to all of its traffic by default and utilize the Signal Protocol, which has been "reviewed and endorsed by leading safetyexperts", while Telegram does neither and shop all messages, media and contacts in their cloud. Since July 2016, Line has also applied end-to-end encryption to all of its messages by default, though it has also been criticized for being susceptible to replay attacks and the lack of forward secrecy between clients.
In 2013, an author on the Russian programming website Habr discovered a weakness in the first version of MTProto that would letan attacker to mount a man-in-the-middle attack and prevent the victim from being alerted by modify key fingerprint. The bug was fixed on the day of the postwith a $100,000 payout to the author and a statement on the official blog.
On 26 February 2014, the German consumer organization Stiftung Warentest evaluated several data-protection aspects of Telegram, along with other famousinstant-messaging clients. Among the aspects considered were: the safetyof the data transmission, the service's rulesof use, the accessibility of the source code, and the distribution of the app. Telegram was rated 'problematic' (kritisch) overall. The companywas favorable to Telegram's secure chats and partially free code but criticized the mandatory transfer of contact data to Telegram's servers and the lack of an imprint or address on the service's website. It noted that while the message data is encrypted on the device, it could not analyse the transmission due to a lack of source code.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) listed Telegram on its "Secure Messaging Scorecard" in February 2015. Telegram's default chat function get a score of 4 out of 7 points on the scorecard. It get points for having communications encrypted in transit, having its code open to independent review, having the safetydesign properly documented, and having completed a lastestindependent safetyaudit. Telegram's default chat function missed points because the communications were not encrypted with keys the provider didn't have admissionto, users could not confirmcontacts' identities, and past messages were not secure if the encryption keys were stolen. Telegram's optional secret chat function, which provides end-to-end encryption, get a score of 7 out of 7 points on the scorecard. The EFF said that the effect "cannot be read as endorsements of individual tools or warranty of their security", and that they were merely indications that the projects were "on the right track".
In December 2015, two researchers from Aarhus University published a report in which they demonstrated that MTProto 1.0 did not achieve indistinguishability under chosen-ciphertext attack (IND-CCA) or authenticated encryption. The researchers stressed that the attack was of a theoretical nature and they "did not see any methodof turning the attack into a full plaintext-recovery attack". Nevertheless, they said they saw "no reason why [Telegram] canutilizea less secure encryption scheme when more secure (and at least as efficient) solutions exist". The Telegram squadresponded that the flaw does not affect message safetysup id="cite_ref-255" class="reference"> and that "a future patch would address the concern". Telegram 4.6, released in December 2017, assistance MTProto 2.0, which now happythe conditions for IND-CCA. MTProto 2.0 is seen by qualified cryptographers as a vast improvement to Telegram's security.
In April 2016, acc of several Russian opposition members were hijacked by intercepting the SMS messages utilize for login authorization. In response, Telegram suggestedusing the optional two-factor authentication feature. In May 2016, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Nate Cardozo, senior staff attorney at Electronic Frontier Foundation, suggestedversususing Telegram because of "its lack of end-to-end encryption [by default] and its utilizeof non-standard MTProto encryption protocol, which has been publicly criticized by cryptography researchers, including Matthew Green".
On 2 August 2016, Reuters reported that Iranian hackers compromised more than a dozen Telegram acc and identified the telephonenumbers of 15 million Iranian users, as well as the relatedutilize IDs. Researches said the hackers belonged to a group known as Rocket Kitten. Rocket Kitten's attacks were similar to ones attributed to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The attackers took advantage of a programming interface built into Telegram. According to Telegram, these mass checks are no longer possible because of limitations introduced into its API earlier in 2016.
Login SMS messages are known to have been intercepted in Iran, Russia and Germany, possibly in coordination with telephonecompanies. Pavel Durov has said that Telegram users in "troubled countries" canenable two-factor authentication by creating passwords in order to prevent this.
In June 2017, Pavel Durov in an interview claimed that U.S. intelligence agencies tried to bribe the organizations developers to weaken Telegram's encryption or install a backdoor during their visit to the U.S. in 2016.
In 2018, Telegram sent a message to all Iranian users stating that the Telegram Talai and Hotgram unofficial clients are not secure.
Telegram promised since at least March 2014 that "all code will be released eventually", including all the various client app (Android, iOS, desktop, etc.) and the server-side code. As of May 2021, Telegram still hasn't published their server-side source code. In January 2021, Durov explained his rationale for not releasing server-side code, citing reasons such as inability for end-users to confirmthat the released code is the same code run on servers, and a government that wanted to acquire the server code and make a messaging applicationthat would end competitors.
On 9 June 2019, The Intercept released leaked Telegram messages exchanged between current Brazilian Minister of Justice and former judge Sérgio Moro and federal prosecutors. The hypothesis is that either mobile devices were hacked by SIM swap or the targets’ computers were compromised. The Telegram squadtweeted that it was either because the utilize had malware or they were not using 2-step verification.
On 12 June 2019, Telegram confirmed that it suffered a denial-of-service attack which disrupted normal applicationfunctionality for approximately one hour. Pavel Durov tweeted that the IP addresses utilize in the attack mostly came from China.
In December 2019, multiple Russian businessmen suffered acctakeovers that involved bypassing SMS single-factor authentication. SafetyorganizationGroup-IB suggested SS7 mobile signalling protocol weaknesses, illegal usage of surveillance equipment, or telecom insider attacks.
On 30 March 2020, an Elasticsearch database holding 42 million records containing utilize IDs and telephonenumbers of Iranian users was exposed online without a password. The acc were extracted from an unofficial government-sanctioned version of Telegram. It took 11 days for the database to be taken down, but the researchers say the data was accessed by other parties, including a hacker who reported the infoto a specialized forum.
In September 2020, it was reported that Iran's RampantKitten ran a phishing and surveillance campaign versusdissidents on Telegram. The attack relied on people downloading a malware-infected file from any source, at which point it would replace Telegram files on the device and 'clone' session data. David Wolpoff, a former Department of Defense contractor, has stated that the weak link in the attack was the device itself and not any of the affected application: "There’s no methodfor a secure communication applicationto holda utilize safe when the end devices are compromised."
In July 2021, researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London and ETH Zurich published an analysis of the MTProto protocol, concluding that the protocol could provide a "confidential and integrity-protected channel" for communication. They also found that attackers had the theoretical ability to reorder messages coming from the client to the server though the attacker would not be able to see the materialof the messages. Several other theoretical vulnerabilities were reported as well, in response to which Telegram released a document stating that the MITM attack on the key exchange was impossible as well as detailing the modify angry to the protocol to protect from it in the future. All problemswere patched before the paper's postwith a safetybounty paid out to the researchers.
In September 2021, a Russian researcher published details about a bug with the self-destruct feature that permittedthe utilize to recover deleted image from their own device. The bug was patched prior to postand Telegram representatives offered a €1,000 bug bounty. The researcher did not sign the NDA that came with the offer and did not getthe award, opting to disclose the bug instead.
Telegram has organized two cryptography contests to challenge its own security. Third parties were asked to break the service's cryptography and disclose the infocontained within a secret chat between two computer-controlled users. A reward of respectively US$200,000 and US$300,000 was offered. Both of these contests expired with no champion. Safetyresearcher Moxie Marlinspike, founder of the competing Signal messenger, and commenters on Hacker Fresh criticized the first contest for being rigged or framed in Telegram's favor and said that Telegram's statements on the value of these contests as proof of the cryptography's quality are misleading. This was because the cryptography contest could not be won even with completely broken algorithms such as MD2 (hash function) utilize as key stream extractor, and primitives such as the Dual EC DRBG that is known to be backdoored.
Telegram was the main topicsurrounding the 2019 Puerto Rico riots that ended up in the resignation of then-Governor Ricardo Rosselló. Hundreds of site of a group chat between Rosselló and members of his staff were leaked. The messages were considered vulgar, racist, and homophobic toward several individuals and groups, and discussed how they would utilizethe media to target potential political enemy.
|Android||8.2.7 / 13 November 2021|
|0.24.2.1471 / 12 November 2021|
|iOS, iPadOS||8.2.2 / 17 November 2021|
|Windows, macOS, Linux||3.2.2 / 5 November 2021|
|3.2.2 / 5 November 2021|
(Mac App Store)
|8.2 / 8 November 2021|
|Android||5.12.0 (17400) / 6 October 2019|
|iOS||5.12 (15550) / 6 October 2019|
|Windows, macOS, Linux||1.8.5 / 5 September 2019|
(Mac App Store)
|5.8 (182623) / 18 September 2019|
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