Hacker steals usernames, phone numbers of 4.6 million Snapchat users

By VAR_Staffing
In Channel
January 3, 2014

VAR_Staffing / VAR Staffing

As more businesses rely on IT solutions to complete critical operations and improve efficiency and productivity, the technology security realm becomes increasingly important. This is even more important for businesses that live and breath in the digital world.

Take, for example, a company like Snapchat. The popular mobile application allows users to send photos to friends on the app that can only be seen for a few seconds before it’s deleted. While it seems like a harmless program, a security company in Australia has announced that it has hacked the database and accessed the phone numbers and usernames of 4.6 million users.

How this happened reads like the setup to a bad action movie. According to an article from The Register, Gibson Security found a vulnerability in the feature that allows users to search for friends through their phone number or username. Last week, Snapchat released a statement calling the problem “theoretical” and claiming that there were safeguards in place to prevent this kind of hack from happening.

That brush-off statement was taken as a challenge from the hacking community and Gibson Security has announced that it has compiled a database of usernames and phone numbers. The exploit is being shared with the public  to raise awareness of the issue.

“The company was too reluctant at patching the exploit until they knew it was too late and companies that we trust with our information should be more careful when dealing with it,” a statement from Gibson Security read. “For now, we have censored the last two digits of the phone numbers in order to minimize spam and abuse. Feel free to contact us to ask for the uncensored database.”

IT security protocols are crucial in this day and age. VARs and MSPs that specialize in security can become valuable resources. VAR Staffing identifies and recruits the impactful talent that solution providers to need to combat security challenges.

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