A database containing the personal data of millions of Telegram users has been posted on a darknet forum. The issue was first reported by Russian-language tech publication Kod.ru on Tuesday.
According to the report, the database contains phone numbers and unique Telegram user IDs. It remains unclear exactly how many users' data was leaked while the database file is about 900 megabytes.
About 40% of entries in the database should be relevant
Telegram has reportedly acknowledged the existence of the leaked database to Kod.ru. The database was collected through exploiting Telegram's built-in contacts import feature at registration, Telegram reportedly said.
Telegram noted that the data in the leaked database is mostly outdated. According to the report, 84% of data entries in the database were collected before mid-2019. As such, at least 60% of the database is outdated, Telegram declared in the report.
Additionally, 70% of leaked accounts came from Iran, while the remaining 30% were based in Russia.
At press time, Telegram has not responded to Cointelegraph's request for comment. This article will be updated should they respond.
Just the latest leak
This is not the first instance of Telegram users' phone numbers being leaked. In August 2019, Hong Kong activists reported on a vulnerability that exposed their phone numbers, allowing Chinese law enforcement agencies to track protesters' identities.