'Predictable' Hack Hits 4.6M Snapchat Users

Details posted online after warnings ignored

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 2, 2014 12:19 AM CST

(Newser) – Photo-messaging mobile app Snapchat has had the usernames and phone numbers of 4.6 million users leaked online through a vulnerability highlighted by security researchers just a week ago. The hackers who put the user details online—with the last two digits of phone numbers censored—tell Mashable that they want to "raise the public awareness around the issue, and also put public pressure on Snapchat to get this exploit fixed," though they say full phone numbers could be revealed to interested parties, suggesting the details could be sold to spammers or phishing operations.

Snapchat says it is working with law enforcement and will "update when it can" on steps being taken to deal with the leak. Gibson Security, the firm that first highlighted the issue, says its warnings were ignored and Snapchat could have eliminated the threat with just 10 lines of code, ZDNet finds. "We felt that something like this was inevitable," the firm says. "Snapchat may have invoked it with their recent blog post about how they had fixed the exploit and that the entire thing was a nonissue." Snapchat users can check to see if their details were leaked here.

Evan Spiegel, CEO of photo-messaging app Snapchat.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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