Security researchers have found the dark side of encrypted chat apps, a wide range of illegal goods are selling through these apps

Nowadays, people much care about their privacy and do not want to use such apps which has privacy issues. Therefore, every chat or conversation apps are encrypting the chats of the users to maintain their privacy. However, it is no doubt that encryption can improve privacy but there are also many drawbacks as well. Facebook is also planning to encrypt the personal chats of users, but many regulators are saying that it can put teenagers in trouble because it will increase the number of cases of child abuse. Now the recent data shows from a cybersecurity firm that a large number of illegal goods are trading through chat apps like Telegram, Signal, and WhatsApp.

These illegal goods are including pilfered gift cards, false documents, tools to facilitate cybercrime, etc. are being promoted by many criminals on these platforms, as reported by the researchers at Nortonlifelock. Many criminals even use encrypted chat apps to recruit hackers or to transmit malware. Telegram, Signal, and WhatsApp are becoming a handy tool for both bad and good actors. Last year when China imposed a new security law, Hongkongers shifted towards more private means of chats. Encrypted chats have also been used by pro-democracy protesters to interact with each other in Russian and Iran.

Content moderations are almost impossible on these encrypted chat apps; therefore, it is somehow promoting illegal activities, these encrypted chats allow the criminals to make a deal for illicit goods by communicating openly to the buyer without the fear of law prosecution. The encrypted chats make it very difficult for the law persecutor to stop these illegal activities. There are also other privacy options on these encrypted chat apps. For instance, when you make an account and use a mobile number on Telegram it makes the number disappear to maintain privacy.

During the pandemic situation, people from all over the world are much worried to receive the vaccination of the COVID-19 and criminals are trying to take the benefit of this stress by selling what they falsely claim are vaccines. Criminals are also selling gift cards stolen through the leakage of passwords or a weakness in the websites of the providers. These gift cards are sold at very low prices. The sale and purchase of fake documents and private information are also the part of illegal activities on Telegram. Criminals are also selling various tools including the rental of DDoS infrastructure. Researchers have also detected some accounts which are promoting the cheats of games.

Read next: Beware iOS and Android Users! A Cybersecurity Firm Discovers Dozens Of Malicious Apps On Google And Apple App Stores in Finance And Cryptocurrency Categories
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