News has emerged that the creators of Snapchat, the photo sharing service which was hacked earlier this week, have created an app to prevent similar problems in the future.
Practically every mainstream news source reported that the instant photo sharing service had been hacked, resulting in the leaking of millions of US users’ personal details.
This has led to a backlash against the social media platform from angry users and industry experts alike, as private details such as phone numbers were hacked by a group calling itself SnapchatDB.
The anonymous group released a vast database of what turned out to be 4.6 million US users’ mobile numbers and usernames just days after Snapchat assured the app using public of its security safeguards. However SnapchatDB redacted the last two digits of the mobile numbers in what appears to be an exercise in privacy exposure.
In fact the security flaw was first pointed out to the Snapchat team a number of months ago and they have now responded due to the hacking operations of SnapchatDB. The flaw relates to the ‘Find Friends’ element of the service, which searches for friends via a phone’s address book and was first brought to their attention in August.
Yesterday a post on the social media platforms official blog acknowledged the security flaw and announced how the Snapchat team is planning to rectify said flaw. The post said that they are “improving rate limiting and other restrictions to address future attempts to abuse our service.”
The app creators also responded when the hacking first became public knowledge. At the time they said that they had implemented a series of safeguards to “make it more difficult” to link up usernames and phone numbers. However they acknowledged that this was “theoretically possible”
In the field of online reputation management, privacy is a key concern. The leaking of private information, information that has been given with the promise of privacy, can cast doubts on a company’s effectiveness in serving their clients and customers.