Snapchat’s security issues have gone from dire to catastrophic over the weekend.
A Telefonica cyber security specialist revealed how he had discovered a way to launch a Denial of Service (DoS) attack the massively popular messaging app.
Both iOS and Android users could therefore be bombarded with thousands of messages and spammed into submission.
Devices could be hobbled thanks to a kink in Snapchat’s software that allowed access to so-called tokens, which are created every time a message is sent.
It comes as no surprise. Snapchat ignored warnings as far back as last August regarding security concerns centred on its Find Friends feature.
Then, when it disregarded similar pleas over Christmas, hackers dumped upwards of four million users’ phone numbers online over the New Year.
Fix in place, one programmer then found Snapchat’s new visual verification tool could easily be gamed by hackers to allow the creation of fake accounts.
Add this latest issue and it’d be an understatement to say Snapchat has a problem with security.
If anything, this is a full-blown crisis. And it’s made all the worse by Snapchat’s response.
The Telefonica staffer behind the latest hack, Jaime Sanchez, said he didn’t go directly to the app maker because of is ‘lack of respect’ for the cyber security community.
The fact the company froze his account and said they’d like to hear about the attack via a generic security email address, shows just how seriously this is being taken. That is: not at all.
What this all adds up to is a complete lack of care from Snapchat, with users’ data being treated unacceptably shabbily.
It seems the time has come to delete Snapchat and either wait until it gets its house in order or ditch it for good.
There has to be hope that it can sort things out.
Why? Because the idea behind the app is brilliant and it’s such a fun add–on for smartphones.
But the recent run of crises means it’s now hard not to start thinking of Snapchat as a flash–in–the–pan feature that will soon be superseded by similar apps from players like Google and Facebook.
Surely those behind it are wishing they’d sold up to Mark Zuckerberg last year when they had the chance.
Now, Snapchat is becoming a joke. An app that suffers from this many security flaws simply cannot last the distance.
Data is sacred and if there’s no trust, then why should the millions who’ve already seen their numbers leaked keep using it?
Sadly, the time has come to ditch this messaging marvel.