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Snapchat Users Unhappy, Hackers Soon To Expose 4.6 million Phone Information

Snapchat security concerns and privacy related problems don’t seem to end for the time

being. A few days ago a security research group had claimed to found vulnerability in the

Snapchat’s messaging services which could allow the cyber hackers and attackers to match

the phones numbers with their respective Snapchat accounts. Now hackers had made their

way through that loop hole and they had started posting online the phone numbers paired

with the users names of more than 4.6 million Snapchat users.

An Independent Website Bent Upon Revealing the Hacked Data

The website in question is called ‘SnapvhatDB.info’ which had saved usernames and phones

numbers of millions of Snapchat account and making the information available for the

download. This website had since been suspended by the hosting service. This website seems

to have been created in response to recently identified flaws in Snapchat’s security.

SnapchatDB.info had said in post on its website that the information was acquired through

the recently patched Snapchat exploit and they are about to release this information in order

to raise public awareness on this issue. It had accused the Snapchat of being too reluctant in

patching the exploit and by the time they knew about it was too late. It further stresses that

the companies which people trust with their private information should certainly be more

careful while dealing with it.

A little Bit Of Relief For Snapchat Users

The hackers had gave little bit of relief to the Snapchat users by stating that they

had ‘censored’ the last two digits of the phone numbers for the time being in order to

minimize spam and abuse. It also encourages the people to contact them for the uncensored

database which they might agree to release under specific circumstances.

Snapchat Introduces Additional Counter Measures

Gibson Security had earlier published a proof-of-concept code which takes the advantage of

the ‘find_friends’ feature in Snapchat’s API (Application Programming Interface) to iterate

and match the phone numbers with Snapchat accounts in short time. Hackers had taken the

very same route to extract the phone numbers and other information.

Snapchat had said that the hackers aren’t successful in their attempt in order to soothe their

users. Snapchat states that matching the phone number and users names and placing that

information in a database in only possible ‘theoretically’. Snapachat had over the year had

implemented various safeguards to make it difficult. It has also added additional counter-
measure and they are continuously making improvements to combat spam and abuse.

Your Username Matters A Lot

The Gibson Security and SnapchatDB both makes it clear to the unsuspicious Snapchat users

that the ephemeral feature of the messaging services is not a safeguard against the privacy. It

would certainly be a big mistake to be lulled by the sense of security about the information

stored on the Snapchat app. SnapchatDB has also stated that people tend to use the same

username on the web, therefore their leaked information could even be used to find phone

number information associated with Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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