Encrypted messaging service Telegram was hit by a major DDoS attack apparently originated from China, likely linked to the ongoing political unrest in Hong Kong.
Telegram was used by protesters in Hong Kong to evade surveillance and coordinate their demonstrations against China that would allow extraditions from the country to the mainland.
The country is facing the worst political crisis ùsince its 1997 handover from Britain to China.
While protesters in the country are involved in violent demonstrations repressed by the police with tear gas and rubber bullets.
At the same time, Telegram suffered a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, users mainly in South and North America were affected by a significant outage, anyway, problems were observed by other users worldwide.
Hackers used a huge botnet to generate the traffic that made Telegram servers inaccessible.
However, users in other locations were also affected, as some people in Australia reported problems with loading video content.
According to Pavel Durov, Telegram’s CEO, most of the junk traffic was originated from China.
Telegram constantly updated its users via Twitter, at the time it has restored an ordinary operation.
Telegram is one of the most popular encrypted instant messaging apps that currently has over 200 million monthly active users.
Telegram is currently blocked in China by country’s Great Firewall. Many people fear that the government of Beijing would increase influence on Hong Kong.
“The city’s special status under its handover agreement allows freedoms unseen in mainland China, but many fear they are under threat as Beijing exerts increasing influence on Hong Kong.” states the AFP.
“The current protests were sparked by fears that the proposed law would allow extraditions to China and leave people exposed to the mainland’s politicised and opaque justice system.”
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