Snapchat hackers release 4.6 million names and phone numbers — see if yours was on the list


In case you haven’t heard, Snapchat has been the victim of a group of hackers over the new year. According to a statement received by TechCrunch, the hackers have made available more than 4.6 million user names and phone numbers tied to the service. The group responsible claims their actions weren’t taken for the sake of it (or for the lulz, as some of these folks would call it).

Snapchat for Android update

Their goal was to expose an exploit that Snapchat has supposedly ignored. The group claims to have warned Snapchat on several previous occasions, but Snapchat failed to take heed. They hope that the result of this episode is to get Snapchat to take privacy and security more seriously, which isn’t a terrible proposition considering the service is supposed to be built on the very promise of privacy and security.

So how do you know if your account details have been compromised? The folks at Gibson Sec got their hands on the leaked info, and decided to put it into a database for anyone to look up. Simply search for your Snapchat username at this link, and it will tell you whether or not your information was stolen.

It’s a good thing that Snapchat doesn’t require a ton of information to make an account as only usernames and phone numbers have been put out into the open. While that’s still scary business, most people would consider that information harmless.

Regardless, it’s an exploit that Snapchat is going to have to patch up if they’re going to continue to win the confidence of those who value security and privacy. Be sure to read on for the group’s full statement.

Our motivation behind the release was to raise the public awareness around the issue, and also put public pressure on Snapchat to get this exploit fixed. It is understandable that tech startups have limited resources but security and privacy should not be a secondary goal. Security matters as much as user experience does.

We used a modified version of gibsonsec’s exploit/method. Snapchat
could have easily avoided that disclosure by replying to Gibsonsec’s private communications, yet they didn’t. Even long after that disclosure, Snapchat was reluctant to taking the necessary steps to secure user data. Once we started scraping on a large scale, they decided to implement very minor obstacles, which were still far from enough. Even now the exploit persists. It is still possible to scrape this data on a large scale. Their latest changes are still not too hard to circumvent.

We wanted to minimize spam and abuse that may arise from this release. Our main goal is to raise public awareness on how reckless many internet companies are with user information. It is a secondary goal for them, and that should not be the case. You wouldn’t want to eat at a restaurant that spends millions on decoration, but barely anything on cleanliness.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Fuuuu….

  2. I’m safe. But it sucks that others have been exposed like this. SnapChat need to fix up.

  3. I never entered my phone number =D

    1. neither did i, but snapchat pulls it from your phone automatically as part of its system for locating your friends that use snapchat

  4. No they were victims of their own stupidity. They were warned about the flaw over and over, they just ignored the issue. Read the article by Violet Blue.

    1. I think I covered that. Thanks, though.

      1. Supposedly ignored, does not cover it. You are practically giving them a pass on this.

  5. Man I feel so old. I still don’t understand the appeal of this app.

  6. Really so sad….
    it will damage many users privacy.

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