Snapchat promises new app to prevent Find Friends abuse

Reports that new versions of the app are already out are somewhat premature

android app release date still says december

As we revealed last week in this story … ‘Fear of advertising could be behind the Snapchat attack‘, worreis that Snapchat was about to introduce mobile ads could have been behind the hackers’ attack on its software. One again, Snapchat has revealed in a blog that it is far from happy with the antics of Australia’s Gibson Security, which first published a report about the potential for a ‘Find Friends’ abuse back in August 2013. Reports that Snapchat has now upgraded is apps are ill-founded. When we checked the Apple iTunes App Store here a release date of December was still showing. The same applied to Google’s Play app store here.

What Snapchat actually said in its blog was, “We will be releasing an updated version of the Snapchat application that will allow Snapchatters to opt out of appearing in Find Friends after they have verified their phone number.”

The company added, “We’re also improving rate limiting and other restrictions to address future attempts to abuse our service.”

Find Friends is an optional service that asks Snapchatters to enter their phone number so that their friends can find their username.

That means that if you enter your phone number into Find Friends, someone who already has your phone number in his or her address book can find your username.

Snapchat has attempted to play down the extent of the New Years Eve attack.

It said that a hacker had, “released a database of partially redacted phone numbers and usernames. “

It added, “No other information, including Snaps, was leaked or accessed in these attacks.”

Snapchat adds rather caustically  that the best way to let it know about possible security vulnerabilities is by emailing the company: – security@snapchat.com.

The company signs of with the message that, “The Snapchat community is a place where friends feel comfortable expressing themselves and we’re dedicated to preventing abuse.”

About Hans Cett

Hans Cett is an established freelance author and consultant specialising in the mobile communications industry. He also writes for Countdown2MWC - http://countdown2mwc.wordpress.com/
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