Though Telegram is readying its own Initial Coin Offering and cryptocurrency platform, a new report from Kaspersky Lab has revealed that the company’s desktop offering has been leveraged to mine cryptocurrency – and for all the wrong reasons.
Uncovered in a new report, Kaspersky Lab has revealed that Telegram’s desktop app has been infected with new cryptojacking software – and that some vulnerable systems have been used to mine cryptocurrencies since March of 2017.
Alexey Firsh, a Kaspersky Lab analyst, offered that “We have found several scenarios of this zero-day exploitation that, besides general malware and spyware, was used to deliver mining software – such infections have become a global trend that we have seen throughout the last year”.
However, Pavel Durov – the founder of the messaging service – has been quick to downplay the report, quipping that “As always, reports from antivirus companies must be taken with a grain of salt, as they tend to exaggerate the severity of their findings to get publicity in mass media”.
Durov has claimed that Kaspersky has not identified a vulnerability within Telegram’s desktop app, and that compromised systems were the results of users mistakenly opening malicious files.
Kaspersky has yet to respond to Durov’s assertions, but has clarified that cryptojacking malware has been used to mine Monero, Zcash, and Fantomcoin.
A worldwide issue
Cryptojacking is estimated to affect over one billion users around the world, while some three million websites are further predicted to have been exposed to cryptocurrency mining scripts.
Earlier this year, ZDNet revealed that more than half a million Windows servers – some 526,000, by estimates – have been hijacked by a cryptocurrency miner botnet dubbed Smominru that has been used to mine some 8,900 XMR to date.
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