Application Security
1/3/2014
11:56 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Snapchat Breach: What's Next

App vendor planning new version that lets users opt out of appearing in beleaguered 'Find Friends' feature.

Snapchat, a mobile photo-messaging app created for wiping out traces of the messages for privacy reasons, this week was hit with a major breach of its users' privacy that exposed names and phone numbers of some 4.6 million of its customers. The data dump came after security researchers published a proof-of-concept for a weakness associated with the "Find Friends" feature.

The app provider late Thursday announced that it would update Snapchat to better protect its users. "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. We’re also improving rate limiting and other restrictions to address future attempts to abuse our service," Snapchat said in a blog post.

Snapchat also said researchers could email the firm at security@snapchat.com for any vulnerability discoveries. "We want to make sure that security experts can get a hold of us when they discover new ways to abuse our service so that we can respond quickly to address those concerns. The best way to let us know about security vulnerabilities is by emailing us: security@snapchat.com," Snapchat said.

The blog post came in response to criticism by the researchers who first reported and then published details on the flaw in Snapchat's app after saying they had not gotten a response from Snapchat. A hacker group on Wednesday exploited the flaw and posted online to a site called SnapchatDB the names and phone numbers, with the final two digits obscured, on some 2.6 million Snapchat users.

Read the rest of this article on Dark Reading.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Kristin Burnham
50%
50%
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/7/2014 | 3:30:43 PM
Re: Worry more about Google and Facebook hacks
@DanielCawrey -- what about Snapchat appeals to you? I've used it -- and was amused  -- but it seems like an app that's bigger among teens.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/6/2014 | 2:32:59 PM
Re: Worry more about Google and Facebook hacks
I think SnapChat has a ton of potential.

That being said, they've got to minimize these PR problems. Set up a bug bounty program like Google does. Enough said. 
PaulS681
50%
50%
PaulS681,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/5/2014 | 6:23:14 PM
Re: Worry more about Google and Facebook hacks
Good point Chris. I would say Facebook is hacking its own users. They give you a choice to opt out of collecting certain data and they collect it any way no matter what you choose. Then they come out with a "ohh, we are sorry" bs.
PaulS681
50%
50%
PaulS681,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/5/2014 | 6:19:53 PM
Snapchat
 Unfortunately breaches are becoming so common it just isn't surprising anymore. Kind of like football players getting caught for steroid use.

I see that snapchat didn't act on the researchers findings but is that cause for the researchers to publish the flaw so hackers will do it? I guess that is one way to get them to fix it.
asksqn
50%
50%
asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
1/4/2014 | 6:33:39 PM
Saddle up and ride smart
This latest high profile hack just underscores the inherent insecurity of 99% of the mobile apps currently available. In the mobile app world, the consumer is forced to agree to a my-way-or-the-highway TOS -either you agree to give the app carte blanche to your device, or it simply will not install.  Google Android latest version had a chance to redeem itself and allow the user to control which apps phoned home (which has been a feature of iPhones for some time now) but Google, inexplicably, instead, chose to yoink away control of the user's device from the user in a follow up update to the OS. Then gave some happy sounding but ultra lame PR newsbyte about how this feature was a bad idea.  Bottom line:  when it comes to mobile apps and security breaches, it's the wild, wild west out there, people. 
chrisp114
50%
50%
chrisp114,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/4/2014 | 4:50:59 PM
Worry more about Google and Facebook hacks
I'm sure they'll fix the problem, but what about when Google or Facebook gets hacked? Just think about all of the personal information they collect about you. This isn't limited to information you give them. They track your browsing history and have information about every website you visit. When that information gets hacked and distributed to your friends, family, and colleagues, then you will be ruined. This is why I'm a strong advocate for using privacy-based sites such as DuckDuckGo, Ravetree, HushMail, SnapChat, etc.
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
DevOps’ Impact on Application Security
DevOps’ Impact on Application Security
Managing the interdependency between software and infrastructure is a thorny challenge. Often, it’s a “developers are from Mars, systems engineers are from Venus” situation.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-5211
Published: 2015-01-27
Stack-based buffer overflow in the Attachmate Reflection FTP Client before 14.1.433 allows remote FTP servers to execute arbitrary code via a large PWD response.

CVE-2014-8154
Published: 2015-01-27
The Gst.MapInfo function in Vala 0.26.0 and 0.26.1 uses an incorrect buffer length declaration for the Gstreamer bindings, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via unspecified vectors, which trigger a heap-based buffer overf...

CVE-2014-9197
Published: 2015-01-27
The Schneider Electric ETG3000 FactoryCast HMI Gateway with firmware before 1.60 IR 04 stores rde.jar under the web root with insufficient access control, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive setup and configuration information via a direct request.

CVE-2014-9198
Published: 2015-01-27
The FTP server on the Schneider Electric ETG3000 FactoryCast HMI Gateway with firmware through 1.60 IR 04 has hardcoded credentials, which makes it easier for remote attackers to obtain access via an FTP session.

CVE-2014-9646
Published: 2015-01-27
Unquoted Windows search path vulnerability in the GoogleChromeDistribution::DoPostUninstallOperations function in installer/util/google_chrome_distribution.cc in the uninstall-survey feature in Google Chrome before 40.0.2214.91 allows local users to gain privileges via a Trojan horse program in the ...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
If you’re a security professional, you’ve probably been asked many questions about the December attack on Sony. On Jan. 21 at 1pm eastern, you can join a special, one-hour Dark Reading Radio discussion devoted to the Sony hack and the issues that may arise from it.