Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
GET RECOGNIZED.
Let an ISACA® certification
elevate your career.

Register today and save
World Wide Web
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Snapchat Will Update Vulnerable App
Snapchat Will Update Vulnerable App

By Barry Levine
January 3, 2014 10:30AM

    Bookmark and Share
While Snapchat is exclusively a consumer app, the age of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) could mean that consumer security issues are business security issues as well. Snapchat-like vulnerabilities are the underside of the BYOD proposition -- that companies allow employees to use the tools they want in order to be “maximally productive.”
 



Following news that as many as 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers were captured on its site and posted on the Web, social video company Snapchat said late Thursday it will release a new version of the vulnerable app. The company’s response to the breach raises more questions about how prepared businesses are to deal with such leakages of their confidential info, which are becoming more common.

The company has come under heavy criticism for its relatively slow response to addressing the problem, especially since the security group that discovered the flaw, Sydney, Australia-based Gibson Security, first reported it in August. A follow-up warning was published on Christmas Eve. Some of the criticism has been directed at Snapchat’s lack of apology for ignoring the warnings.

In its initial announcement in August, Gibson Security noted that the data obtained from the Snapchat vulnerability “could hypothetically be used to stalk” users, or it could be sold to companies that use the data in conjunction with other databases to create a more complete confidential data profile of users.

Encouraging Users to Find Friends

In a posting Thursday on its official blog, Snapchat noted that it first implemented Find Friends in the early days of the company, in order to encourage people to find other friends using the service. With the optional Find Friends, a user can enter a phone number into a profile, allowing offline friends to find the Snapchat username through the number.

Last Friday, Snapchat acknowledged the vulnerability that Global Security had highlighted. An attacker could upload a large number of random phone numbers, such as from a phone book, and then acquire large numbers of matching Snapchat usernames.

That’s exactly what happened on New Year's Eve, when a hacker or a group calling itself SnapchatDB! posted a database of phone numbers, usernames and the users’ regions. Snapchat said no other data was compromised. The hacker was apparently trying to operate at least partially in “white hat” warning mode, blocking out the last two digits of each phone number. But the posted database also contains the offer for anyone to submit an email to request the unredacted phone numbers, which would be considered “under certain circumstances.”

‘Reluctant at Patching the Exploit’

The information, SnapchatDB! said on the site, “is being shared with the public to raise awareness on the issue.” It added that Snapchat was “too reluctant at patching the exploit until they knew it was too late.” Gibson Security has said it has no connection to the hackers, and the company has criticized the posting of the user data. Gibson has also published a tool on its site so that users can find out if they’re in the purloined database. (continued...)

1  |  2  |  Next Page >

 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 World Wide Web
1.   Bell Labs Pushes Copper Line to 10 Gbps
2.   Escort Charged in Google Exec Death
3.   Google, SAP, More Fight Patent Trolls
4.   NY Reaches Price Limit Deal with Uber
5.   Germany Probes New U.S. Spy Case


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Report: Chinese Hackers Hit U.S. Personnel Networks
Hackers from China broke into the computer networks of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management earlier this year with the intention of accessing the files of tens of thousands of federal employees.
 
Charges: Russian Stole Data from U.S. Restaurants, Zoo
A Russian man arrested on bank fraud and other charges hacked into computers at restaurants in Washington, hundreds of other retail businesses, and even the Phoenix Zoo, authorities say.
 
Another Month, Another IE-Focused Patch Tuesday
Microsoft rolled out 59 vulnerabilities for Internet Explorer in June. But the IE-patching party is not over yet. Redmond published six new security bulletins on Tuesday; two, critical; three, important.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | Small Business | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.