Messaging platform Telegram has said it was hit by a powerful cyberattack that coincided with protests this week in Hong Kong.
Telegram CEO Pavel Durov said that the attack was aimed at disrupting the service rather than an attempt to steal user data and came from mostly Chinese IP addresses.
We’re currently experiencing a powerful DDoS attack, Telegram users in the Americas and some users from other countries may experience connection issues.
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) June 12, 2019
Activists in both Hong Kong and mainland China, where Telegram is blocked, frequently use the messaging system to organise protests in the hope of evading government surveillance.
Encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram have become the digital underground channels for protests around the world. It was banned in Iran last month, just a month after Russia blocked the service.