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Popular messaging app Snapchat has been the victim of a major security attack, with the news that hackers have accessed and published the names and numbers of 4.6 million users in an apparent attempt to get the service to improve its customer protection.

Going under the name, the hackers said they used an exploit in Snapchat’s software, which was recently fixed, in order to get the slew of information.

In a statement, the group said: “Our motivation behind the release was to raise the public awareness around the issue, and also put public pressure on Snapchat to get this exploit fixed.

“It is understandable that tech start-ups have limited resources but security and privacy should not be a secondary goal. Security matters as much as user experience does.”

Snapchat is yet to respond. The hackers have not published the final two digits of users’ numbers, but have said they may do so if the issue is not addressed.

The messaging service had a hugely successful 2013. Its founder Evan Spiegel turned down a multi-billion dollar offer from Facebook for his app, which lets users send messages which then self destruct, leaving no trace on their device.



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