Following Hack, Snapchat Promises Tighter Security

Alex Spencer

SnapchatSnapchat has responded to the hack of its service on New Year's Eve, which led to 4.6m phone numbers and usernames being leaked, with the announcement of an app update.

The hack targeted Snapchat's Find Friends feature, which enables users to find contacts who are also using the app. The update will enable users to opt out of this feature once they have verified their phone number, as well as introducing improved "rate limiting and other restrictions to address future attempts to abuse our service".

Just a few days before the hack, a security group, which first made its concerns about this potential vulnerability known in August, published the Find Friends API documentation online. Snapchat responded shortly afterwards with a blog post dismissing the "allegation [of] a possible attack by which one could compile a database of Snapchat usernames and phone numbers".


Snapchat is careful to point out that no pictures were "leaked or accessed" by hackers - to the great relief, no doubt, of anyone who has sent potentially comprising pictures of themselves via the app.

"The Snapchat community is a place where friends feel comfortable expressing themselves and we’re dedicated to preventing abuse," said a spokesperson for the company.