Telegram or Signal? Welcome to the illusion called data security

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By Nishant Arora

As millions shun WhatsApp and download new chat platforms in search for a secure experience, mind you that security is nothing but an illusion and there is no guarantee that Telegram or Signal may not be hacked in the future, especially when nation-state actors with highly sophisticated tools and huge resources are on the prowl.

Encryption is fundamentally flawed and once hackers get to know any vulnerability or bug in the whole data travel journey — apps, mobile operating system, public Wi-Fi, Cloud and the physical data centres — your personal and sensitive information is always at their mercy.

The Telegram development team is based in Dubai. The Telegram team had to leave Russia due to local IT regulations and has tried a number of locations as its base, including Berlin, London and Singapore. It does not store data within the boundaries of India.

Signal does not own its own data centres. The company is entirely Cloud based, which puts data at risk as cyber-attacks on Cloud-based services have increased in the recent past.

In case the data is compromised, India which does not have a dedicated law on privacy or on cyber security, will not be able to do much, unlike Europe which has a strong General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that treats the safety of its users’ data diligently and seriously.

According to Pavan Duggal, one of the nation’s top cyber law experts and a seasoned Supreme Court lawyer, if you are looking at complete and absolute security, you have to realise that security is a relative term.

“What was secure yesterday is not secure today and what is secure today will not be secure tomorrow. Blindfoldly relying upon these platforms would not suffice. There is a need for people to incorporate cyber security as a way of life,” Duggal told IANS.

Be it Pegasus software attack on WhatsApp or the great Twitter crypto hacking last year that compromised accounts of celebrities like US President-elect Joe Biden, former US President Barack Obama, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (you name it), people are always facing the risk of losing their data.

The latest is the SolarWinds attack that…