Hackers Attack Snapchat To “Raise Awareness” About Security

“Security matters as much as user experience,” say the white-hatted hackers, who are hoping their actions will force Snapchat to fix the hole.

Hackers Attack Snapchat To “Raise Awareness” About Security
[Image: Flickr user creepyhalloweenimages]

Snapchat was hacked over New Year’s. More than 4.6 million accounts of U.S. and Canadian users have been compromised, with phone numbers (the last two digits have been obscured) and usernames posted on a website, SnapchatDB, which has since been suspended–due to system overload, not legal action, the hackers say.

The attackers explained their actions this way: “Our motivation behind the release was to raise the public awareness around the issue, and also put public pressure on Snapchat to get this exploit fixed. Security matters as much as user experience does.”

Barely a week ago, research group Gibson Security raised the issue by posting details of a potential security flaw which could reveal Snapchat users’ phone numbers. The startup, led by cofounder Evan Siegel, was last year the talk of several takeover bids, including some multi-billion dollar offers by Facebook and Google.

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My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.

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