Encrypted messaging app Telegram is dealing with a major anonymity fail possibly affecting their brand reputation and customer trust. Last week, security researcher Dhiraj Mishra detected some vulnerabilities in the Telegram desktop application and Telegram for Windows that leaked both public and private IP addresses online during voice calls, revealing user location.
Telegram normally asks users to use peer-to-peer (P2P) connection, setting that can be changed from settings to keep it private. However, this option was not available in the desktop and Windows applications. A later edit reads that even the Android application will leak addresses, unless the settings are changed.
For detecting and reporting the bug, the researcher received €2,000 from Telegram. The bug was patched immediately in all Telegram versions. Users can now disable peer-to-peer calling by accessing settings > Privacy and security > Calls > peer-to-peer, and are advised to update their apps as soon as possible.
Since the company has been boasting about its end-to-end encryption and fighting governments’ requests to release user data in the first place, this could be a blow to their image. In the past, countries such as Iran demanded the app be blocked accusing it was a security threat, while Russia asked for user data and then tried to block the app when their request was denied.