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TMCNet:  250,000 SNAPCHAT ACCOUNTS HACKED ; Phone numbers of app users leaked online as 'security flaws' highlighted [Eire Region] [Mirror (UK)]

[January 02, 2014]

250,000 SNAPCHAT ACCOUNTS HACKED ; Phone numbers of app users leaked online as 'security flaws' highlighted [Eire Region] [Mirror (UK)]

(Mirror (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) UP to quarter of a million Irish people could be hit after Snapchat was hacked, it has emerged.

The social media app has had some of the phone numbers of its users published online.

Up to 11% of the population of Ireland use Snapchat and have been warned that their details may have been put online.

The statement from the hackers said: "This information was acquired through the recently patched Snapchat exploit and is being shared with the public to raise awareness on the issue.

"The company was too reluctant at patching the exploit until they knew it was too late and companies that we trust with our information should be more careful when dealing with it.

"For now, we have censored the last two digits of the phone numbers in order to minimise spam and abuse." The published phone numbers do not include the last two digits.

Up to 4.6 million people around the globe are affected by the hacking.

In the statement, hackers SnapchatDB added it is making the data available in an effort to convince the messaging app to beef up its security.

It 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 startups have limited resources but security and privacy should not be a secondary goal. Security matters as much as user experience does." The app was named yesterday as among the most downloaded of the year alongside Vine and Candy Crush Saga.

While old favourites such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter continued to be popular, Snapchat eclipsed them in downloads last year.

It became the sixth most downloaded free he app of the year on the App Store, Apple revealed. Craig Palli, chief strategy officer at Fiksu, said: "Snapchat went from being a niche app to achieving much more critical mass, so much so that Facebook was reportedly willing to spend billions of dollars to acquire the company." With Snapchat, users can send photos and videos that disappear shortly after they are viewed. Launched in 2011, the app's user base continued to grow rapidly in 2013, with more than 13 million people using the app in October.

In December alone, more than 400 million pieces of content were shared through the app, claim Snapchat, which is based in Venice, CA. The Irish Mirror contacted the company last night but nobody was available for comment. (c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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