Snapchat rolls out fix to let you opt out of leaky Find Friends feature
9th Jan 2014 | 15:19
Finding friends, losing friends
Update January 9, 2014: Snapchat has finally said sorry for the massive data breach that saw over 4 million Snapchatters' phone numbers, location details and usernames posted online.
As well as the overdue apology, the app-maker will let you opt-out of linking your phone number with your username. This means you won't be able to use the Find Friends service.
If you decide to keep using the friend finder, the update supposedly also improves the feature's functionality and will need new Snapchattes to verify their phone number before they can use it.
Update January 2, 2014: Snapchat is taking the leak by the horns and addressing the hack that compromised 4.6 million users. Plus, it's announcing a sort-of fix.
The company wrote in a blog post that it will release an updated version of its app that lets users opt out of appearing in "Find Friends." A user will need to verify their phone number before they can opt out.
Snapchat outlined how "an attacker" could use Find Friends to "upload a large number of random phone numbers and match them with Snapchat usernames." This is essentially what happened on December 31, 2013.
The company, which didn't offer remedies for users that did have their data published in the attack, also said it will improve rate limiting and other restrictions to help prevent future abuse.
Original post from January 1...
A database containing the phone numbers, usernames and locations of 4.6m Snapchat users in North America has been posted online.
In the latest security woe for the $3.5 billion-valued company, the details have appeared on the SnapchatDB.info website and are freely available to download.
The site, claims the data "is being shared with the public to raise awareness on the issue," of widespread Snapchat security vulnerabilities.
The last two digits of the phone numbers have been concealed, with SnapchatDB claiming it will reduce spam and abuse, but the anonymous hackers say they will release the data "under certain circumstances."
However, full usernames are present with the handy tip that "people tend to use the same username around the web," prompting users to go fishing around social media for those final two digits.
The leaked data appears to be localised on two area codes in the United States and Canada, which goes against claims from the hackers to have leaked the 'vast majority' of Snapchat users.
The mass posting of Snapchat user data comes just days after the company made assurances that it had "implemented various safeguards to make it more difficult" to obtain and upload user data en masse.
The company is yet to respond to today's leak, but it seems there will be one or two holes to plug and some tricky questions for Snapchat to answer in the coming days.
- Does Snapchat's new Relay option, allowing users to take a second look at photos, defeat its purpose?
Via The Verge