how to protect your Telegram account from intruders

Every month the popularity of the messenger is only growing. In June 2022, the Telegram audience reached 700 million people – about this told network founder Pavel Durov. For Russian users, the application is one of the most popular programs – more than 52% of the RuNet audience regularly send messages to each other in the messenger. The number of scammers who are trying to steal their channels from the owners is also growing.

In this article, Slurm speaker Roman Panin, head of information security architecture at MTS, and Vladimir Silaev, Telegram expert, channel administrator, shared their thoughts on how to protect channels and prevent attackers from stealing your intellectual work.

The popularity of Telegram can be explained by several reasons:

  • Problems with other messengers: WhatsApp changed its privacy policy and lost part of its loyal audience, another social network became banned in Russia.

  • More Posting Opportunities: Content is certainly being watched, but you can keep it simpler and freer and not be shy about expressing yourself.

  • Through Telegram, you can conduct business and provide links to pages in online stores.

  • Almost everyone has a messenger, and the interface is intuitive.

  • Any, but still there is privacy for users.

Incredible popularity after February of this year was acquired by author’s channels. It was an outlet for shops and businessmen, public figures and journalists – for anyone who created content and wanted to continue to share their thoughts.

What ways can scammers go to get your channel

Throw a link to a phishing site. It will look like the official platform from Telegram: designed in corporate colors, with the necessary fonts. But as soon as you log in to it, personal data will go to deceivers: they will be able to send messages, links to subscribers, transfer channel administration to third parties.

The unfortunate resource administrator will probably be offered to buy the channel, the amount will depend on the size of the community.

Subscribers are also at risk – they may not notice that the owner of the channel has changed and believe the message of the deceiver. A scammer can publish a message asking for help for a seriously ill dog, conspiratorially invite him to a very profitable business – the subscriber has confidence in the author of the channel, in what he says.

Forward a letter or document with an embedded virus. For example, you work as a freelance designer, a new client offers you to view a working draft or sign a document for further cooperation. Alas, the letter may turn out to be an unpleasant surprise – a virus that will steal Telegram data and, in general, cause irreparable harm to your PC.

They can buy advertising from the account owner, but send not a finished post, but an archive with a hidden virus. You will unpack the folder with an unpleasant surprise, it will steal the root folder (if we are talking about Windows OS) with all the data, saved passwords and cache.

Create a duplicate SIM card and log into the owner’s account. There is such a possibility, there are programs and devices that allow you to do this. If the card user is outside the access zone, for example, on an airplane, then he will not immediately be able to access his Telegram. Here, personal information and absolutely all correspondence fall into the hands of scammers. In this case, only two-factor authentication will save, we will talk about it a little lower.

Cheat when selling an account. If you plan to transfer your account to another person, you can use guarantors – services or accounts with similar functions. These pages will be fake – the design is the same, but the details and symbols will be different. A typical phishing approach, the purpose of which is to take your data.

Offer to test a new VPN service. It must be downloaded to a computer or phone, at some stage of registration you will be asked to provide tg-account data.

The channel can be hijacked when you plan to purchase ads or run a promo post on your channel. For the sale-purchase of advertising, you may be asked for statistics: who reads the posts, whether users like them, and so on. All necessary data can be collected via Telemetr. me is a deep analytics service. Fraudsters claim that they need additional data – whether the account was used to advertise an online casino, for example. Next, they will offer to switch to a completely copied from Telemetr. me site, where you will need to enter all the data, including the name of the channel, phone number and password. After the matter of technology – the channel is taken away, the owner is crying.

There are many ways, the essence is the same – to take the data from the owner, and arrange everything so that the owner of the account provides all the data himself.

How to secure your channel

If you are in charge of large channels, then it makes sense to have a separate phone number from which you will conduct only business affairs. Make this number the owner of the channel – so scammers will not be able to reissue the SIM card

Be careful about the sites through which you want to send data. Check the title, make sure everything is correct. If the site makes you suspicious, then you should not leave your data and even more so log in to Telegram through it.

In correspondence or comments on posts, you can see the following message:

The link is written correctly, but it can lead to a phishing site. Update Telegram yourself through official stores, do not follow the links if you are not sure about the person and the information that he shares with you.

Do not open letters and documents from people you do not know. If a person allegedly from the personnel department writes to you, then you can check with colleagues whether there is such a person in the state.

Turn on two-factor authentication. When connecting from a new device, you will need to enter a password, you can leave a hint for yourself – a pop-up reminder of which password you have chosen.

A common story when buying a channel is that a person doubts whether the seller is actually related to the channel. The “buyer” asks during the video call to show the screen and prove that the seller is the owner of the channel. The scammer sees your number, drives it in and sends a connection request. A confirmation code is sent to your account, the scammer sees it during the call and enters it, after which he transfers the rights to manage your account.

Check active sessions and where the connection is coming from. If you live in Moscow, and they are trying to log into your account in Karaganda, then something is clearly wrong. You can check the connections through the “Devices” tab.

Hide your phone number through settings. Users will still be able to find you by nickname, but your number will not be visible: at least, you will not be able to be included in spam mailing lists.

What if it was stolen anyway?

  • First of all, check if you still have access to your account. End all open sessions, change your password if possible.

  • Write to one or more Telegram support accounts

    • – login problems

    • – problems with the channel

    • – content complaint

    • – complaint about stickers

    • – child abuse

    • – recover account

    • – general support

    • – security issues

  • Do not transfer money to scammers, record all facts of extortion through the support service.

  • Mass complaint. The former owner can ask his friends and acquaintances to complain about the stolen channel, the Telegram administration will see numerous appeals and can return the resource to the original owner. Sometimes this method works, sometimes it doesn’t.

There is a chance that the stolen channel will be returned, but not all theft stories end well. Let’s share the story of Philip, an administrator whose channel was stolen.

In 2018, I wanted to sell my Science in the Phone channel with 7-8 thousand subscribers, so I put up an ad for sale. A man wrote to me, offered a certain amount of money, I agreed. Then, I suggested that he make a deal through a well-known guarantor, but he refused. Instead, he sent me some website, told me to create my own account there and that he would send money there. Because of my inexperience, I agreed to this, he transferred money to my account on this site, after which I transferred the rights to the channel to the scammer. When I wanted to withdraw money – 25 thousand rubles – I received a notification that I should add another 15k to my balance, after that I already realized that I had fallen for a fraudulent site. The account could not be returned, although I wrote to support.

The only way to protect yourself from data theft is to follow the rules of cybersecurity

That’s what we’re talking about on the course “Information Security for All”! The stream starts on October 3, you have time to jump on board with us.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *