Being a high-profile tech business surely has its downside. Just less than 2 months ago, Snapchat was lauded for behaving like a maverick and turning down a US$ 3 Billion Dollar offer from Mark Zuckerberg, top dog of social networking giant Facebook.
By New Year’s Eve, hackers penetrated the popular messaging app in a cyberattack that left 4.6 million of its user base affected by leaking their names and phone numbers to all and sundry. Snapchat was supposedly given warning that its app’s security protection was very weak and the hackers, who remained anonymous, told the New York Times that they went on the attack to highlight those flaws.
Many corporate sites and web services have been noted to be victims of such cyber-attacks but this incident, tech analysts are saying, is especially damaging to Snapchat since their App service holds secrecy as a main component of their product. (Please see our previous article on Snapchat – ?Snapchat Founder Spiegel Lauded For Saying No To Facebook Offer Of US$3 Billion Dollars? at : https://www.thebitbag.com/2013/11/14/snapchat-founder-spiegel-lauded-facebook-offer-3-billion/ )
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Video: Snapchat hack leaks 4.6 M users (fairfest / YouTube)
Tech Analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group placed this incident on the proper viewpoint when he said that ? The problem for Snapchat is kids seek it out because they think it’s more secure…..This goes against the brand. It makes them seem less secure when their advantage is supposed to be more security.?
Snapchat in the meantime was given some breathing space by the hackers who still showed a bit of restraint by hiding the last 2 digits of the phone numbers when they posted the Snapchat user list on a site with url: Snapchatdb.info . They however threatened to release the full number list ?under certain circumstances?…..what circumstances that is, they have not yet said. It is assumed however that they are referring to Snapchats strengthening of its security protocols.
A security expert, Lucas Zaichkowsky said Snapchat and its 4.6 million users were even quite lucky that no passwords were leaked. Zaichkowsky said that most people use the same passwords they use for social networking sites as well as other online services such as email. What these affected users should do is to change their passwords that were similar with their Snapchat password and advised them to change it regularly.
Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Snapchat/299054633541321 ; http://www.palisadespost.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Snapchat-team.jpg ; http://wallike.com/mark-zuckerberg-pictures.html ; http://sourcefed.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/snapchat.jpg ; http://cdn.mikeabundo.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/kevin-rose-inc.jpg