The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications has warned the public to be vigilant when using popular messaging and social media app Telegram, following a recent spate of fraudulent scams.
“Hacking attacks on Telegram accounts have recently increased to an alarming level,” said the ministry.
It added that hackers usually sent messages which purported to come from the apps’ management team.
A typical fake message might say “Telegram is a computer messaging application focused on security and speed. Your account has not been verified for a long time, please click on the following link within 24 hours, or your account will be deleted”.
“If a user follows the fraudulent instructions, they will open a link which asks them to provide their phone number and log-in code. Once they have done so, the hackers will have access to the user’s Telegram account,” explained the ministry.
Anyone who suspected they may have been scammed in such a fashion should contact the ministry immediately.
Digital security consultant Ngeth Moses took to social media to share his concerns. He suggested that the users of all communications applications, particularly Telegram, should be wary of storing important documents and information within the system.
“In order to ensure the safe use of Telegram, all users should take time to familiarise themselves with the app’s security features and functions. I encourage people not to keep important or official documents – or any other material that could be dangerous in the wrong hands– in Telegram chats or channels,” he said.
“Document such as business proposals or company documents should be protected. If an account is hacked, then there is unlikely to be any recourse, as Telegram does not have a dedicated security team,” he added.
The Ministry of Interior’s Anti Cybercrime Department recently issued similar warnings, reminding all Telegram users to be wary of fraudsters, and specifically highlighting the dangers of any links which demanded personal or confidential information.
The telecommunications ministry added that any members of the public who sought additional information should visit the website of the Cambodia Computer Emergency Response Team (CamCERT), a branch of the ministry’s Department of Security, Information and Communication Technology.