One of the fastest-growing messaging services Telegram may have suffered a slight breach as one Reddit user claims to be selling 70 million accounts.
The thread — which was just recently emptied after user matdavson1994 was suspended—contained an offer for the data of 70 million Telegram accounts.
According to some users on Twitter, the leaker was selling the data for 8 BTC (over $60,000).
In broken English, the user explained that he detected a vulnerability in Telegram that allowed him to gain access to user information, providing a sample.
If the data is accurate, it could be a blow for users of Telegram’s upcoming cryptocurrency and blockchain network, since it would allow data holders to identify users and possibly connect GRAM token balances to real-world phone numbers.
We have since acquired the sample material, an Excel file containing 251,943 entries with user IDs, phone numbers, and usernames.
There appears to be no way a malicious actor could use this data to infiltrate accounts themselves, but a clever person could use this to start very effective phone and messaging spam campaigns.
After taking the time to browse through the data, we found that most of the listed phone numbers are from Iran. Some of the accounts have since been deleted but many of them were real.
This incident’s date is awfully close to another one in which a person using founder Pavel Durov’s name registered a fake company in the UK called Telegram Open Network Limited. We do not see anything connecting these two events, but the timing seems uncanny.
One source on Twitter
BREAKING: 70mn Telegram Accounts have been leaked and are for sale on the dark web. Usernames and Phone Numbers leaked – might be bad news for you $crypto people wanting to keep your anonymity. Stay safe. #telegram #crypto #dump #db #telegramhack #hack #infosec pic.twitter.com/0DXPA70NRy
— Alt Analyst (@TheAltAnalyst) April 10, 2018
that the leaker may have moved the data to the dark web to sell, but our own exhaustive search of dark web marketplaces left us with nothing to substantiate the claim.
Even though we can’t find a trail for it, it’s certainly possible that the data behind 70 million Telegrams accounts is still circulating out there.