Leaked & Hacked- the story of snapchat
After a fairytale beginning in 2011, Snapchat has suffered tremendous setbacks. The
company was founded by students of University of Stanford and in the first two years of its
operation, saw its membership to 80 million users. These users are mainly teens and young
adults. They share and communicate with their loved ones. The main feature of Snapchat
is the self- destruction of the photo or video sent to the receiver. The sender can set a time
frame of 1- 10 seconds in which the content sent will disappear. This feature- unique to only
Snapchat has been a bumper hit. It even alarmed the giant Facebook which responded by
mounting a staggering amount for a takeover.
All that glitters are not gold
All is not rosy with Snapchat. Every good thing comes to an end and it happened with
Snapchat too. The app makers were found wanting when thousands of the nude images
appeared on the internet. These were those images which the users had shared among
themselves. It was then realised that the photos or videos do not completely self- destruct, but
remained somewhere in the Snapchat servers. More trouble brewed when contact details of
nearly 4.6 million users appeared on the net.
The contents and the contact details which unanimously appeared on the net was a result
of hacking of Snapchat servers. Apparently the promise of a safe and secure platform to
communicate was a lie. The servers were easily hacked. It was bread and butter stuff for
the hackers because the servers were not protected at all. Although 4.6 million sounds a
staggering figure, it is reported that it is only a part of the Snapchat database. The hackers
posted the contact details of the users excluding the last two digits. They invited anyone to
their own website called SnapchatDB. This website would then provide the last two digits,
most probably for a fee. The main threat in such case is stalking. Things become worse for
the users because their details can be further traced through Facebook and Twitter. In most
cases, they have the same username and password.
Rise and Shine
It is very astonishing that the founders of Snapchat allowed their servers to be so vulnerable.
Even after the hacking of the photos and videos, the designers did not take sufficient action.
Soon, their systems were hacked for a second time and partial contact numbers were released
on the net. Had the designers acted on time, the second hack could have been easily avoided.
The hack has created a huge media outrage. The confidence of the users was also jolted when
they saw their own creation open in public. Finally Snapchat rose to the occasion and took
measures to secure their servers. They raised money and started fixing their servers.
The group which made the hack actually wanted the concerned people at Snapchat to come
to their senses. And in the nick of time, the website with the partial contact details have been
take down. The owners of Snapchat are viciously working to take their company out of the
hacking dirt. It is time for the app to regain its glory and shine.