Telegram Monitoring for Cybersecurity

Telegram monitoring is critical as cybercriminals shift their communications from dark web forums to illicit channels on the encrypted messaging service. To hide from law enforcement agencies that now have a deep and dark web presence, malicious actors channels and private chat groups to securely exchange messages, videos, documents, stolen information, and more. 

Telegram can serve as a complement to dark web threat actor activities, so it’s crucial for security teams to include Telegram monitoring.

Flare and Telegram Monitoring for Cybersecurity

How does Flare enable Telegram monitoring?

Flare has been monitoring Telegram over the past years and increasingly monitors more channels regularly. Our analysts track chaînes Telegram illicites to understand how they fit into and accelerate the evolving cybercrime landscape. Flare’s platform monitors over 4,000 cybercrime Telegram channels, including ones focused on combolists, stealer logs, fraud, and hacking.  

How does Flare answer Telegram monitoring use cases?

Flare de Assistant d'IA automatically summarizes and translates posts from channels and chatrooms of interest. Flare’s AI cyber threat intelligence linguist generates English summaries with rich content, translating inputs from languages like Russian, Arabic, Spanish, and French. By eliminating the language barrier, Flare enables analysts of all experience levels to understand critical risks and take appropriate actions. Furthermore, with these AI capabilities, Flare can “translate” threat actor jargon and technical cybersecurity intelligence for more business-oriented audiences. 

What are the key benefits of Flare’s telegram monitoring?

  • Automates monitoring and archiving for over 4,000 Telegram channels, creating a robust historic database of cybercrime activity
  • Translates foreign languages and contextualizing events so analysts spend less time monitoring and can effectively leverage intelligence
  • Explains complex technical exposure so that senior security professional can work faster and junior security professionals can understand risk impact

Telegram Monitoring for Cybersecurity: Brief Overview

Qu'est-ce que le télégramme?

Telegram is a messaging application that encrypts voice calls, video calls, and voice chats. The application allows users to create groups for up to 200,000 people or channels that broadcast to unlimited audiences with messages that can contain any of the following:

  • Texte
  • Photos
  • Vidéos
  • Files, like document, zip, or MP3 files

Telegram balances privacy with communication. For large groups, it supports capabilities like replies, mentions, and hashtags. Additionally, it offers advanced settings that help administrators manage groups and channels. 

Telegram also has “secret chats” for enhance privacy that include:

  • End-to-end encryption so only senders and intended recipients can read message
  • Preventing forwarding of messages
  • Deleting messages for everyone in the conversation no matter who initiates the action
  • Setting “self-destruct” timing for messages, photos, videos, and files that deletes messages from devices after the recipient reads/opens them

Why are cybercriminals moving to Telegram?

Telegram’s focus on privacy and secrecy make it attractive to cybercriminals. In its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), the company responded to the question about illegal content takedown. According to Telegram, all chats and group chats are private amongst participants so it does not process requests related to them. Since Telegram has no visibility into these chats and group chats, cybercriminals can hide their illegal activities more easily. 

Additionally, the app also offers the following features that make it a prime location for cybercriminals:

  • Chats secrets: End-to-end encryption prevents anyone who is not the sender or intended recipient from reading messages.
  • Sense of anonymity: People can create accounts using burner phone numbers or email accounts, and the application never requires the use of real name, gender, age, or other personally identifiable information (PII)  
  • Facilité d’utilisation: The app works like any other messaging application so users don’t need to have specialized skills, like knowing how to use a Tor browser. 

How do threat actors use Telegram?

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Threat actors create Telegram chats and channels to communicate with one another, typically selling:

  • Stolen credit card information obtained by phishing, skimming, and data breaches
  • Stealer logs containing data likepasswords, usernames, credentials, credit card numbers, and other PII obtained via malware stored on compromised devices
  • Combolists containing user credentials, typically obtained from data breaches
  • Botnets used for engaging in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks
  • Malware and ransomware as part of the larger cybercrime ecosystem
  • Information needed to take over a user’s mobile phone via SIM swapping

Why Telegram Monitoring for Cybersecurity Is Especially Relevant Now

Why do you need Telegram monitoring in today’s cybersecurity landscape?

Telegram has become a hub of cybercriminal communication, especially within the Ransomware-as-Service (RaaS) ecosystem. As cybercriminals adopt modern, subscription-based business models, Telegram makes sharing data and files anonymously easier for the different parties involved, like:

  • Groupes de rançongiciels: organized criminal groups that create and distribute ransomware 
  • Affiliés: third-parties sharing profits
  • Initial access brokers (IABs): threat actors selling stolen credentials or other ways of gaining access to target systems

How does Telegram monitoring fit into your cyber threat exposure management (CTEM) program?

CTEM continuously monitors for and provides real-time insights into an organization’s threat landscape. It leverages open-source intelligence (OSINT), publicly available information that helps improve security procedures and validates security controls. Many channels are publicly available, so security teams can perform Telegram OSINT investigations.

As cybercriminals communicate across Telegram, security analysts can gain valuable insights about their cyber threat exposure, including information about:

  • Geopolitical context that impacts their cyber risk profile, like hacktivists targeting specific geographic regions
  • 0-day exploits and new vulnerabilities that attackers target
  • Companies or industry verticals that attackers target

Why does automating Telegram monitoring improve security?

Manually monitoring illicit Telegram channels is time-consuming. As attackers continue to create more illicit Telegram channels and groups, manual monitoring becomes too resource-intensive to be practical. 

By automating the Telegram monitoring process, security analysts:

  • Reduce the time spent reading posts and chats
  • Gain context by aggregating clear, deep, and dark web intelligence with Telegram posts
  • Translate posts into English, including languages like Russian, Arabic, Spanish, and French
  • Create curated, focused intelligence based around their objectives
  • Reduce noise with high-fidelity, actionable intelligence that improves key security metrics like mean time to detect (MTTD)
  • Integrate insights into daily activities and other security risk management technologies like security information and event management (SIEM) tools or ticketing systems

Telegram Monitoring for Cybersecurity and Flare

Flare est le leader Gestion de l'exposition aux menaces (TEM) solution for organizations. Our technology constantly scans the online world, including the clear & dark web, to discover unknown events, automatically prioritize risks, and deliver actionable intelligence you can use instantly to improve security. Flare monitors and archives over 4,000 Telegram channels, enabling your security team to boost your company’s security posture by automating these processes. 

Notre solution s'intègre à votre programme de sécurité en 30 minutes pour fournir à votre équipe des renseignements exploitables et des mesures correctives automatisées en cas d'exposition à haut risque. Voyez-le vous-même avec notre essai gratuit.

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