Snapchat update planned after user breach

by Brett Molina, USATODAY

(Photo: Kevork Djansezian Getty Images)

Snapchat says it will launch a new version of its popular messaging app that lets users opt out of a feature exploited by hackers on New Year’s Eve.

The service, which lets users post photo or video messages that quickly disappear, includes a Find Friends option where users can discover friends by their phone number.

In a blog post published Thursday, Snapchat says an “attacker” used the feature to create a database of usernames with redacted phone numbers. The company says no other info such as messages were compromised.

Snapchat says a future app update will allow users to opt out of the Find Friends feature.

“The Snapchat community is a place where friends feel comfortable expressing themselves and we’re dedicated to preventing abuse,” says the company’s post.

Snapchat did not confirm how many users were impacted, but several reports claim the database contains 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers.

Last week, Snapchat warned Find Friends could be exploited after a security group demonstrated how to upload a large database of names and phone numbers, but claimed “various safeguards” made the practice more difficult to execute.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @bam923.

full story: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/01/02/snapchat-security/4295789/

 

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