Telegram, an instant messaging service, warned its users about possible connection issues this morning due to a “powerful DDoS attack,” but assured that personal data are safe.
Telegram gave the warning from its Twitter account and took advantage of the situation to explain in a very particular way what is a DDoS attack.
In a thread of six tweets, the company explained that a DDoS is a “Distributed Denial of Service Attack,” where servers receive “GADZILLONS of garbage requests” that prevent them from processing legitimate requests.
Telegram compared DDoS attacks as if “an army of lemmings just jumped the queue at McDonald’s in front of you – and each is ordering a whopper.” A whopper is a hamburger prepared by the McDonald’s competition, Burger King.
“The server is busy telling the whopper lemmings they came to the wrong place – but there are so many of them that the server can’t even see you to try and take your order,” said Telegram.
In a next tweet, Telegram explained that to generate these garbage requests, “bad guys use “botnets” made up of computers of unsuspecting users which were infected with malware at some point in the past. This makes a DDoS similar to the zombie apocalypse: one of the whopper lemmings might be your grandpa” the company said with humor.
Telegram assured its users that their data is safe. “All of these lemmings are there just to overload the servers with extra work – they can’t take away your BigMac and coke.”
Telegram is the third most used instant messaging application in Brazil, after WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. In recent years it has lost ground in several countries and is no longer a leader in any, according to SimilarWeb.