Snapchat has promised to roll out an updated and more secure version following the recent security breach of the red-hot popular chat app. It also promised to resist such attempts in the future. The hackers posted usernames and numbers of its 4.6 mn users on the web at snapchatdb.info. Regardless, of warnings given by security experts, Snapchat maintained a “detached response” until the breach occurred.
The upcoming version would allow users to opt out of one if its features, which was responsible for the vulnerability of the app: Find Friends. This feature allows users to upload their contacts details so that they are searchable in Snapchat. It still continues to be the most popular chat app among youngsters and has been in the spotlight since a year. When Gibson Security warned Snapchat before the attack;Snapchat had responded through a blog post saying that they had implemented appropriate safeguards. This incident may tarnish its image and pose a threat to its popularity.
Dehlawi, a senior security engineer with Security Innovation remarks on Gibson Security’s findings ─ the errors leading to this security compromise, reflect the challenges developers experience while implementing cryptographic technology in mobile applications. He further added, “Any application that uses cryptography should undergo third-party code audits by security experts to identify security vulnerabilities. Secondly, the back-end APIs must undergo third-party audits. Thirdly, the back-end of applications often gets shortchanged because developers assume it is not as vulnerable as the front-end”.
The estimate based on Pew Research Center reports that there are already existing 20 million Snapchat users. Its rapid success attracted Facebook to offer a buyout of US$3 billion. Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat had still turned down Facebook’soffer. CEOs must grow up on the job or they face public scrutiny. No apology was given through the company statement that was released recently. Fortune’s Dan Primark states, “If Evan Spiegel is disinclined to apologize, or doesn’t feel he should, then perhaps he really isn’t up for the job”. Users prefer Snapchat as it seamlessly vanishes pictures and videos after they have been viewed. Therefore, it’s thought of being more private in comparison with other social networks.
Gibson Security allows Snapchat users to verify whether or not their phone numberswere leaked. They just have to type their usernames, at http://lookup.gibsonsec.org/. If their phone number was leaked, they can delete their Snapchat account. Here’s a workaround designed not by Snapchat, but from Gibson Security. Biggies like Microsoft have hired the services security companies. Isn’t it time for Snapchat to hire one?
Spiegel has done a great job building Snapchat in no time. So all its users probably should just wait and watch.