A top Russian court has ruled that encrypted messaging app Telegram have to share its encryption keys with state authorities.
Telegram, founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, has been fighting with the FSB, formerly KGB, which demanded that the company hand over its private encryption keys.
Because the company refused, a trail was started, and the country’s supreme court upheld the demand.
This week Telegram has been issued a fine and ordered by the state communications regulator to provide the keys within 15 days. If they not comply, the service will be blocked in the country.
Durov stated in a tweet: “Threats to block Telegram unless it gives up private data of its users won’t bear fruit. Telegram will stand for freedom and privacy.”
The encrypted messaging app has more than 100 million users across the world. One of the reasons why FSB wants the keys is maybe because the app is accessible to terrorists that use it to share their communications and spreading propaganda and misinformation.
Telegram has been heavily criticized in the past for having several security issues and running an infrastructure that allows the storing of encryption keys in the first place.
For example, other messaging apps, like WhatsApp and Signal, are end-to-end encrypted and do not centrally store encryption keys.
Telegram is also used by hackers to control or spread their malware software.
These cybersecurity problems can be easily avoided by implementing a cybersecurity solution inside every device that you own, so don’t let your guard down depending of which OS your device is running it is mandatory to install an antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac.
The Telegram problems will persist because of Russian president Vladimir Putin, who this week secured a fourth term in office, introduced laws to crack down on terrorism.
These laws are forcing companies that operate in the country to store data on Russian citizens within its borders, giving state security and the intelligence services authority access to the data. The laws also provided the FSB greater control over the Russian internet, because now it has the power to remove sites from the country’s internet register if they refuse to turn over the customer or user data.
If you are a company the install of antivirus is only the first layer of security, you must contract a cybersecurity company that will carry some advance cybersecurity tests to your company networks, like penetration test, and ethical hacking test. This kind of checks must be made every year because cyber security threats evolve and you must find and fix any cybersecurity flaws as soon as they are discovered.
If your business is a 100% online business consider using only cyber-secured web hosting services.