Chat app under attack

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Crypto-chat app, Telegram, is being targeted by a new piece of malware.

No doubt, you’re familiar with secure messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, which offer users the opportunity to communicate securely, usually using end-to-end encryption.

That’s all well and good, until someone writes some malware that specifically targets an app to intercept messages or harvest credentials.

That’s exactly what’s happened to Telegram: a Python programmer has revealed a piece of malware which targets the Windows desktop version of the popular chat app.

Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, comments on the security of chat apps and why it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’re communications are secure.

“When we use chat apps and programmes to send messages we usually drop a lot of the concerns we use for everyday communication.

“If you’re talking to a friend about someone else or a sensitive subject you might lower your voice, or partially cover your mouths to avoid lip reading, but when typing on a keyboard you don’t have an equivalent.

“We assume that the communication is private, so may possibly say whatever we like without concern.

“Of course in today’s modern digital age that’s simply not true, even if we think it’s a “safe” app either through encryption or other security means, we could be fooled into thinking we are safe.

“Always assume someone else could be listening or intercepting your communication and investigate various messaging apps, reading as many reviews as you can.

“It’s a very negative approach I understand, but sometimes to keep your private info private you have to assume the worse and hope for the best.”

Does the security level of a chat app affect your decision for using it? Let us know on Twitter @ESETUK.