This document describes encryption in voice calls as implemented in Telegram apps with versions < 7.0. See this document for details on encryption used in voice and video calls in app versions released on August 14, 2020 and later. Besides that, the parties have to negotiate the protocols to be used, learn the IP addresses of each other or of the Telegram relay servers to be used (so-called reflectors), and generate a one-time encryption key for this voice call with the aid of Diffie--Hellman key exchange.
All of this is accomplished in parallel with the aid of several Telegram API methods and related notifications. The Diffie-Hellman key exchange, as well as the whole protocol used to create a new voice call, is quite similar to the one used for Secret Chats.
The Server S performs privacy checks and sends an updatePhoneCall update with a phoneCallRequested constructor to all of B's active devices. The Server S sends to B an updatePhoneCall update with the phoneCall constructor, containing the value of g_a in g_a_or_b:bytes field, and key_fingerprint:long. Both parties A (the Caller) and B (the Callee) transform the voice information into a sequence of small chunks or packets, not more than 1 kilobyte each. This document describes only the encryption process for each chunk, leaving out voice encoding and the network-dependent parts. The low-level data chunk raw_data:string , obtained from voice encoder, is first encapsulated into one of the two constructors for the DecryptedDataBlock type, similar to DecryptedMessage used in secret chats:. The higher 8 bits in flags are reserved for use by the lower-level protocol (the one which generates and interprets raw_data ), and will never be used for future extensions of decryptedDataBlock .
The resulting data packet is sent by UDP either directly to the other party (if P2P is possible) or to the Telegram relay servers (reflectors). The specifics of the protocol guarantee that comparing four emoticons out of a set of 333 is sufficient to prevent eavesdropping (MiTM attack on DH) with a probability of 0.9999999999. we use a three-message modification thereof that works well when both parties are online (which also happens to be a requirement for voice calls):. If some impostor is pretending to be either A or B and tries to perform a Man-in-the-Middle Attack on this Diffie--Hellman key exchange, the above still holds.
Both WhatsApp and Signal use end-to-end encryption – meaning nobody but the sender and receiver can see message content – on all their chats and calls by default. In channels, which can be public or private and have an unlimited number of members, administrators send out messages to everyone that has subscribed.
Chats between individuals are, of course, also possible and the app features video calls and group voice conversations as well. Telegram’s cloud setup means that the company is able to show and sync your messages across desktop and smartphone apps in real time.
The founder has now released a new post on his personal Telegram channel that clears the air about why the app does not feature end-to-end encrypted chats by default. This lets users have access to a number of features including sending large documents and videos, instant media forwarding without re-upload, minimising storage usage on your phone, support for multiple devices and access to chat history, which is simply put, not possible with end-to-end encryption in place.
#Telegram founder Pavel Durov strikes #Facebook-owned #WhatsApp in new post amidst privacy crisishttps://t.co/CYp1mmXjlg — Express Technology (@ExpressTechie) January 10, 2021. In yet another post, Durov also speaks about an incident from May 2016, when the FBI reportedly tried to influence the founder and bribe his engineer to “make Telegram less secure”. If we were American citizens, the FBI would have likely tried to silence us using a legal procedure called a “gag order”,” said Durov in the post. A gag order is essentially a legal directive that doesn’t allow you to publicly disclose information related to an event.
Telegram is the latest messaging app to get a major new feature, but unlike Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, Hike and countless others, it isn’t cribbing from Snapchat. Since being ousted as CEO in 2014, he has lived a nomadic existence and focused his work on developing Telegram, which gained global attention as an alternative to WhatsApp after it was acquired by Facebook in 2014.
“Telegram is error prone, has wonky homebrew encryption, leaks voluminous metadata, steals the address book, and is now known as a terrorist hangout. I couldn’t possibly think of a worse combination for a safe messenger,” security researcher The Grugq wrote in a blog post later that year. It also made it easier for users to report inappropriate material, but it, and other apps, continue to come under pressure from politicians who perceive that their encryption is aiding enemies.
“We need to make sure that organizations like WhatsApp, and there are plenty of others like that, don’t provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other,” she told BBC journalist Andrew Marr in an interview.
In 2013, we began as a small app focused on secure messaging and have since grown into a platform with over 400M users. Telegram is now one of the top 10 most-downloaded apps and is used all over the world to stay in touch with family, collaborate with classmates and coordinate coworkers. We did not reach this milestone on our own – Telegram has never advertised and every user has come to the app because of a recommendation from someone they trust.
We've heard you as well, and will continue to develop features that make Telegram much more than just a messaging app.
Current versions of the Telegram apps do not make the secret chat feature easy to find. To confirm which kind you’re in, look for a padlock icon next to the name or phone number of your chat partner. Click the Settings button in the lower right corner of the screen and select Privacy and Security. The first step is to make sure no one can read your chats if you accidentally leave your device unlocked and unattended. The primary login method uses a one-time code sent by text, so Telegram lets you set a password as the second factor. To do so, on the Privacy and Security tab, select Two-Step Verification (Telegram’s term for 2FA), and set a strong combination.
In essence, that means submitting a request to remove your account completely, after which you will have to wait seven days. So as not to share unnecessary details with all 500 million–plus Telegram users, configure your profile privacy appropriately. This is also a great time to take a look at Privacy & Security → Data Settings and remove from Telegram storage any information you do not want to be there. Use a VPN to hide your IP address (which Telegram can disclose at the request of law enforcement agencies, for example). Unlike Telegram, they encrypt all chats by default and have a bunch of extra privacy options. Keep in mind that even the most secure messenger is defenseless if someone gains access to your device, either physically or remotely.
With that in mind, we recommend always being sure to lock all of your devices with a password or a PIN code, regularly updating all apps and operating systems installed on them, and using a reliable antivirus solution to protect against malware.
Over the past few months, we’ve worked hard to make sure Telegram calls are the best in terms of quality, speed, and security. The Voice Call interface is familiar and easy to use, but as always, you get loads of innovation under the hood with Telegram.
The key verification UI we came up with in 2013 to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks served well for Telegram (and for other apps that adopted it), but for Calls we needed something easier. In the coming months, we’ll be expanding our content delivery network around the globe, getting the connection up to light-speed even in remote areas. Each time you make a Voice Call on Telegram, a neural network learns from your and your device's feedback (naturally, it doesn't have access to the contents of the conversation, it has only technical information such as network speed, ping times, packet loss percentage, etc.).
The machine optimizes dozens of parameters based on this input, improving the quality of future calls on the given device and network. Telegram will adapt and provide excellent sound quality on stable WiFi — or use less data when you walk into a refrigerator with bad reception. By default, Telegram calls are lightweight and automatically adapt to the speed and type of your connection, so as to consume the least data possible.
For those of you who don’t do voice calls, v.3.18 brings something different: direct control over the quality of videos you share. The app will remember the compression rate you selected and will use it by default for your future video uploads.
The feature is an alpha version, so there's more work to do on it before it's fully robust, but it already includes support for switching from audio to video and vice versa at any time, as well as picture-in-picture mode, which means users can read and respond to other messages while they're chatting to the person on the other end of the call.
Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. Telegram is introducing end-to-end encrypted video calls on its platform as the chat app completes seven years.
While Telegram has better privacy features in place as compared to WhatsApp, the end-to-end encryption is not a default option and needs to be turned on. We’ve already told you why you might want to opt for Signal, today we are going to tell you how to turn on end-to-end encryption for Telegram and how to start a secret chat on it. Also Read: Top 6 reasons to pick Signal if you want to want to quit WhatsApp.
So if you don’t turn e2e on, Telegram has access to metadata (who you wrote to, how often, when etc) and also the content of these chats. There is one exception here though, if the other person is using the macOS app you won’t get a notification of a screenshot. So to confirm which kind you’re in, look for a padlock icon next to the name or phone number of your chat partner. Secret chats disappear when you log out of or delete the Telegram app.
Secret chats are available in Telegram’s iOS, Android, and macOS apps.