Ukrainians are warned against using some popular messengers, as the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation may have access to them.
This was written by Ukrainian businessman Yaroslav Azhniuk in Twitterreferring to the words of Major General Kyryl Budanov, head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
What messengers does the FSB have “keys” to?
Azhniuk noted that he had personally spoken the day before with Budanov and the Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov about the risks of using Telegram.
“In the last day, we managed to talk about the risks of Telegram with Kirill Budanov and Mykhailo Fedorov. Kyrylo said verbatim: “The FSB, and only they, have the keys to Telegram. Viber, in general, is an application created for espionage. And it is not even necessary to correspond there,” Azhnyuk wrote.
He also noted that this information is of great importance to the public. This topic needs to be discussed publicly.
According to Azhnyuk, he and Mykhailo Fedorov agreed to study in detail the facts that may testify to the possible connection of the Telegram messenger with the Kremlin.
The reaction of Viber management
Shortly after, Ofir Eyal, CEO of Rakuten Viber, commented on this statement:
“Viber was created by four Israeli co-founders back in 2012 and has no connection to any government. Any statement to the contrary is false and unfounded,” said the general director.
Rakuten Viber chats and calls have been protected by default with end-to-end encryption since 2016, he said. That is, Viber employees or third parties cannot intercept and decrypt chats and calls.
“We will be happy to meet with Ukrainian officials to talk in more detail about the security and privacy benefits of Viber,” Ofir Eyal commented on the situation.
It is also noted that Rakuten Viber is an international company that has been fully owned by the Japanese technology giant Rakuten since 2014. And Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani donated $8.7 million to Ukraine right after the full-scale war began and arranged for 500 generators to be shipped to Ukraine in December 2022.