Snapchat Hackers Clarify Why 4.6 Million User Data Was Leaked Online

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | January 2, 2014 11:35 AM EST

The Hacker or the team of hackers responsible for leaking Snapchat user data has explained why they hacked the system and leaked 4.6 million usernames, along with other details like partial contact number.

It has apparently reacted to the request of The Verge and explained that the motivation behind the leak was an effort to raise public awareness that the leak was possible. They also wanted to pressure Snapchat to solve the potential vulnerability. They have demanded that security is no less important than user experience. They have also claimed that the vulnerability still persists in the system.

The hackers set up a Web site named SnapchatDB and displayed around 4.6 million user information there. It is quite common among ethical hackers to pressure organisations to fix security flaws within a limited timeframe. They often raise the alarm by hacking the system and pointing out where the flaws lie. Gibson Security alleged on Christmas Eve that it was able to match thousands of user information quite often. Snapchat was quick to react. It revealed in the open forum how one could infiltrate the system, using phone numbers and area codes. SnapchatDB Team exploited the blunder they made.

They informed The Verge that they used a 'modified version' of what Gibson Security suggested. They argued that Snapchat should not have disclosed the procedure openly. It could have replied privately but it did not. Nor did it do something about the vulnerability, they claimed.

On the other hand, the Web site SnapchatDB has been shut down. The hacking team explained that they did not do it for legal issues but rather due to the 'overwhelming attention'. They informed that the hosting provider was intimidated by such reaction. Nevertheless, SnapchatDB is still ready to provide 'uncensored database' to anyone who may ask for it, they claim.

At the same time, the SnapchatDB Team have clarified that they have no relation with Gibson Security which raised the relevant security question in the first place. Snapchat, meanwhile, has not commented on the issue.

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