Apps

Telegram app reportedly involved as ISIS claims responsibility for Manchester attack

Often used by terrorists because of its encryption levels, the popular messaging app Telegram may have been one of the sources of communication involved in connection with the suicide bombing that killed 22 people at the end of an Ariana Grande concert Monday night in Manchester, England.

The Islamist terror organization released a statement that was posted on Twitter by the Site Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadis. The statement was also reportedly posted to Telegram, a secure messaging app launched in 2013 by Russian entrepreneurs Nikolai and Pavel Durov, who are brothers. 

Here is a copy of the statement, courtesy of Site Intelligence:

Telegram, which had 100 million monthly active users as of February 2016, has become a popular messaging app because of its encryption methods, though some critics have said that Telegram's security and encryption protocol is not reliable.

Telegram claims its encryption levels are more secure than those of Facebook-owned WhatsApp, to which it is often compared. WhatsApp has over 1 billion monthly users.  

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The service, which is available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Ubuntu, has become a favorite for ISIS, which has drawn further scrutiny to the service.

Telegram has responded to press reports that its app is used by terrorists. In a blog post, the company states it is east to report public channels and after a few hours, the channels are shut down. 

As of April 2017, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov said the company had 40 million monthly active users in Iran, according to a report on the Committee to Protect Journalists' blog.

Telegram has become popular for its ability to let users have secret chats, in which users are accepted by invitation, according to a report in technology website, The Verge.

Upon entering the chat, encryption keys are exchanged and only after the keys are exchanged, can users be verified.

Telegram could not be immediately reached for comment for this story.