Expert comment on Telegram cyber attack from Mark Skilton, Professor of Practice at Warwick Business School, who researches and consults on cyber security.
He said: “This type of attack is government censorship using cyber tools to block internet traffic. In this case it was massive overwhelming traffic noise targeting Telegram servers and networks to slow down the service in what is called ‘denial of service’.
“This was not a specific technology, but a distributed network attack on the internet ISP and NSP network providers. The strong encryption inside the Telegram app had no defence against the traffic level protocols and volume of traffic.
“To stop this type of attack would need new technology to block adversaries’ traffic before the network, something that is not possible if the Chinese government control and have access to that network currently. What typically happens is alternative telecoms networks might be used. But I suspect those too would be targeted for a full scale attack.
“However, we don’t know if it was a full wide scale internet attack or if it was a complete network wide attack. It seems some sophistication was used to target the Telegram app and user service. This may be a symptom of a more advanced distributed ‘denial of service’ acting as a swarm of attacks against specific targets.”