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I am thinking how does telegram ensure that messages are secret. I understand they use the public key to encrypt and private key to decrypt. Why is it not possible for an attacker to download the telegram app to obtain the private key.

Is a private key fixed? Or it is a random generated number. In what way does telegram or any other applications for that matter ensure that their private key is not compromised since the application is freely downloadable.

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telegram probably will use features that are built in a mobile phone operating system to keep those cryptographic keys, for example Android key Store or Apple's Keychain. these key store mechanism will in turn utilising the hardware provided by mobile phone to prevent key extraction.

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