Social Applications are Leaving you Vulnerable: Snapchat and Skype Both Hacked

Social applications are leaving you vulnerable.

Snapchat is a photo messaging application that allows users to take photos, videos, and drawings and send them to specific recipients. Over 20 million ‘snaps’ are shared each day and Snapchat has quickly grown into one of the most popular apps. Unfortunately, this startup company’s growth has led to weakened security. Just recently, a breach occurred in which anonymous hackers posted 4.6 million user names and phone numbers on the Web.

According to a senior security engineer for Security Innovation, there were a number of errors made in cryptography and key management that made Snapchat an easy target for hackers looking to expose the vulnerability of user information. Any app that uses cryptography needs to have a third party security team perform an audit to identify security vulnerabilities. This can help to ensure that the back end of apps are as secure as the front ends.

Sadly, Snapchat was warned about this attack a few days before it occurred. They immediately responded that their information was protected and that they didn’t display phone numbers to other users and don’t have the ability to look up phone numbers based on just a username. The hackers responded promptly by posting the sensitive data on a website.

The hackers had this to say about the attack:

“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.” Source: http://snapchatdb.info

In a separate cyber attack, Microsoft’s Web calling service Skype was recently hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army. The group published a post on the official Skype blog, as well as the contact information of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Corp’s retiring chief executive. They took to Twitter to post the following message: ” Don’t use Microsoft emails (Hotmail, Outlook), They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments. More details soon. #SEA”

While none of Skype’s user information seems to have been compromised, the results were just as poignant. The Syrian Electronic Army’s social media defacement of Skype seems to be directed at last year’s shocking revelations that Skype calls were monitored by the U.S. National Security Agency.

At Forensicon, we have the technology and the experience to assist your company or firm with all digital and electronic security breaches. With over a decade of experience tracking rogue hackers, we can help your company after a hacker has compromised your data or breached your security. More importantly we can help prevent the attack from even beginning. To learn more about how our computer forensic specialists can assist your firm, call us at 1-888-427-5667 or visit us on the web at www.forensicon.com.

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