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This article was published on December 19, 2013


    Secure messaging app Telegram offers $200,000 to the first person who can break its encryption

    Secure messaging app Telegram offers $200,000 to the first person who can break its encryption
    Josh Ong
    Story by

    Josh Ong

    Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

    Private messaging service Telegram is confident enough in its encryption that it’s offering $200,000 to the first person to crack it. The prize will be funded by Telegram backer and VKontakte founder Pavel Durov.

    In order to win the prize, you’ll need to intercept a daily message between Pavel and his brother Nikolai to find out a secret email address. Then you just have to send an email to the address with the contents of that day’s encrypted message, a bitcoin address for payment and the details of the exploit.

    In the interest of transparency, Telegram is publishing the duo’s traffic in real-time and will release the decryption keys at the end of the contest.

    The contest should be a win-win for Telegram, as it will either strengthen public confidence in the service’s security strength or reveal existing weaknesses. The company claims it will never give third parties access to data.

    Telegram Crypto Contest

    Image credit: Christopher Wood