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On one of the forums in the Darknet, a database appeared with information about several million users of the Telegram messenger. The data file is about 900 megabytes.
The Telegram press service confirmed the existence of the database, explaining that information is collected through the built-in contact import function even when the user registers. Representatives of the company added that not a single service that allows users to communicate with contacts from their phone book can completely exclude such a search.
Telegram also assured that most of the fused accounts are no longer relevant. In addition, the messenger has a function “Who can add me to contacts by phone number”. This setting makes it difficult for regular users to communicate (they become invisible even to those who know their phone number), but it allows you to completely hide the connection between the account and the phone number.
It became known that the Telegram user contact database did not appear on the network as a result of a leak from the messenger, it was collected by parsing – collecting and analyzing publicly available information and is a compilation of other contact databases.
“This database is a compilation of various previous databases collected from different countries and different methods. The main method is collection via open systems, chatbots, authorization, and information about a person’s registration by number. Even taking into account duplicates and incorrect data in the database, this is tens of millions of users,” said the expert.
The expert believes that the database could somehow get all the user’s public data-ID, username, first name, last name, photo, cell phone, public bio and website, in some cases, information was also included when the user was online, his approximate location – country/region, and others. Such databases are usually used for widespread non-targeted spam.