SEOUL, Nov. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — Telegram will hold a security contest with award money of 300 million won. The company posted the message on its social networking service pages on November 4 to challenge the world’s hackers to breach its encryption system.
The mobile messenger service became famous by the recent incident of a sudden increase in its user numbers in Korea because of defectors from KakaoTalk following an announcement by the government it would increase surveillance on messages exchanged on the nation’s most popular mobile messenger platform.
A Telegram official said, “Early this year we held the same contest but nobody passed the test. This time around, we will increase the award money to US$300,000 with easier challenge tasks.” The participants acting as if they were malicious hackers will have to decode encrypted messages sent by the brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov, the two founders of Telegram.
These pretend hackers will have to find out the brothers’ secret email addresses and open email messages. In order to prove that they have succeeded in hacking, they have to attach a session log of their user ID to the email message, with explanations on how they penetrated the protocol.
The challengers will be allowed to look into the traffic or attack directly from the server side. Unlike the previous competition, Telegram said, the programmers can proceed with the whole process of the contest from dialog box creation to the man-in-the-middle attack, known-plaintext attack, chosen-plaintext attack, and to open redirection attack.
In addition to the award money, the company will give away bonuses as well. Additional money of 100 million won will be granted to the first person who receives an Okay reply after send a message using “msg [A|B] bytes.”
By Kevin Lee (email@example.com)