4.6 million Snapchat users were hacked this month, were you one of them? Usernames and phone numbers were stolen and if that weren’t bad enough, the data was also posted online on a site called SnapchatDB.info, which has since been taken down. While the last digits of each phone number were censored, and the site is no longer online, it has been reported that a cached version can still be accessed.
The hack came a few days after an Australian security firm warned the public of the easily exploited vulnerabilities within the Find Friend’s section of the app. The hackers have since come forward and advised that they were motivated to hack Snapchat in order to raise awareness around the app’s vulnerabilities.
Was your Snapchat account hacked?
Not sure if you were hacked? Click on the link to find out: http://lookup.gibsonsec.org/
What is Snapchat?
For those of you unfamiliar with the app Snapchat, it is a photo messaging app developed by two Stanford University students. Users are able to take photos, videos and add text to their ‘Snaps’ before sending it to another user on Snapchat. Snaps can be viewed for a short period of time, ranging from 1 to 10 seconds, before disappearing forever. The app is most popular with users between the ages of 13 and 23, although the over 40 age group is growing.
So what has Snapchat done to rectify the situation with their community? Well, they are currently working with the police to help manage the situation and have also launched an update to their app. Snapchat now includes a phone number opt-out feature, so that you don’t have to provide that data to the app. They also finally issued an apology – it only took a week for them to come out with this
“We are sorry for any problems this issue may have caused you and we really appreciate your patience and support”.
They also included advice on their blog as to how you can protect yourself in the future, tips included deleting the app, revising privacy settings and not providing your phone number to anyone that asks for it. Perhaps not the best advice considering deleting the app won’t undo the fact that your phone number is out there, and that it was the app that leaked the data and not you.
Privacy, privacy and again – privacy
However, they do make a good point about privacy settings, it’s important to always check your privacy settings with each app update and on every single one of your social networking sites. Sites and apps are constantly updating their privacy options, and it’s best to be sure that you’re only sharing what you wish to be sharing, with those that you are comfortable sharing with. It’s vital to play at active role in your education on internet privacy, as well as taking ownership of your privacy settings. You are your own best defense. BullGuard can help too, subscribe to this blog and stay on top of the latest issues.
Do you think the hackers were right to call attention to the apps vulnerability by hacking it?