Founder of Telegram Pavel Durov has suggested that the Chinese government might be behind one recent DDoS attack on the encrypted messaging service. Writing on Twitter, the founder called it a "state actor-sized DDoS" that mainly came from IP addresses in China. Durov noted that the attack coincided with the protests in Hong Kong where people use encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram to prevent detection and coordinate their protests.
The attack raises questions about whether the Chinese government is trying to disrupt the encrypted messaging service and limit its effectiveness as an organizing tool for the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators participating in the protests. Bloomberg reports that encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram and Firechat are trending in the Apple App Store in Hong Kong, because protesters are trying to hide their identity from the Hong Kong-backed Beijing government.
IP addresses mainly come from China. In the past, all experienced DDoS status (200-400 Gb / s clutter) coincided with protests in Hong Kong (coordinated on @telegram). This case was no exception.
– Pavel Durov (@durov) 12 June 2019
In addition to using encrypted messaging apps, Bloomberg notes that demonstrators in Hong Kong also cover their faces to avoid face recognition systems. They also avoid the use of public transport cards that can link locations to identities.
Telegram & # 39; s Twitter account said the service was hit with "gadgets from garbage requests", usually from IP addresses from China, as part of the DDoS attack that had prevented the service from processing legitimate user requests. It said that these garbage requests are usually generated by botnets, networks of computers that are infected with malware. "This case was no exception," Durov tweeted without elaborating.
The protests in Hong Kong are the answer to a bill that would allow the city-supported government to extradite its citizens to China. Critics fear that the law can be used to strengthen Beijing's authority over the semi-autonomous city-state, where citizens have a higher level of civil liberties than mainland China.