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
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
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.
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. 
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.
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.
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. 
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.
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading December Tech Digest
Experts weigh in on the pros and cons of end-user security training.
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-2014-7830
Published: 2014-11-24
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in mod/feedback/mapcourse.php in the Feedback module in Moodle through 2.4.11, 2.5.x before 2.5.9, 2.6.x before 2.6.6, and 2.7.x before 2.7.3 allows remote authenticated users to inject arbitrary web script or HTML by leveraging the mod/feedback:mapcourse cap...

CVE-2014-7831
Published: 2014-11-24
lib/classes/grades_external.php in Moodle 2.7.x before 2.7.3 does not consider the moodle/grade:viewhidden capability before displaying hidden grades, which allows remote authenticated users to obtain sensitive information by leveraging the student role to access the get_grades web service.

CVE-2014-7832
Published: 2014-11-24
mod/lti/launch.php in the LTI module in Moodle through 2.4.11, 2.5.x before 2.5.9, 2.6.x before 2.6.6, and 2.7.x before 2.7.3 performs access control at the course level rather than at the activity level, which allows remote authenticated users to bypass the mod/lti:view capability requirement by vi...

CVE-2014-7833
Published: 2014-11-24
mod/data/edit.php in Moodle through 2.4.11, 2.5.x before 2.5.9, 2.6.x before 2.6.6, and 2.7.x before 2.7.3 sets a certain group ID to zero upon a database-entry change, which allows remote authenticated users to obtain sensitive information by accessing the database after an edit by a teacher.

CVE-2014-7834
Published: 2014-11-24
mod/forum/externallib.php in Moodle 2.6.x before 2.6.6 and 2.7.x before 2.7.3 does not verify group permissions, which allows remote authenticated users to access a forum via the forum_get_discussions web service.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Now that the holiday season is about to begin both online and in stores, will this be yet another season of nonstop gifting to cybercriminals?