Snapchat urges users to disconnect third party apps after breach

Following last month’s leak of 13gb worth of private Snapchat photos and videos, the vanishing message service has announced a new policy whereby it will automatically detect third-party apps, and advise users to disconnect them, reports The Next Web.

The leak resulted in some 200,000 photos and videos being made public thanks to the hack of a third party site, Snapsaved. There was no breach of the official site itself.

As such, Snapchat has announced that it will be warning all users that they should disconnect any third-party apps it detects, and consider changing their username and password. “We’ve enjoyed some of the ways that developers have tried to make Snapchat better. Unfortunately, some developers build services that trick Snapchatters and compromise their accounts,” a spokesperson said on Snapchat’s official Tumblr.

“We want to prevent that from happening in our community. Starting today, we will notify Snapchatters when we have detected that they may be using third-party apps and we’ll ask those Snapchatters to change their password and stop using unauthorized apps,” the spokesperson added.

Tech Crunch reports that the company is working on an official API, the lack of which to date they argue “is something that puts users’ privacy at risk.” In the short term however, they believe that this official recommendation against third-party apps may cause their popularity to ‘wither’.

Snapchat has stated that it expects most users to be unaffected by this update, suggesting that third party applications remain a minority part of the service for most users – at least in light of the recent leak. The company has promised “some incredible new stuff” will be following for the app soon, however.

Author , ESET

  • Detecting third party mobile applications is a technically challenging task. There are almost 100 hundred mobile stores of note operating globally and hundreds more small scale ones. Among those 100 stores are over 8 million mobile applications. Plus websites offer mobile apps as well and its anyone’s best guess how many exist online.

    Detecting individual third party apps that can harm your brand isn’t easy, apps can be disguised with other wrappers, they come into existence and are “turned off” all the time. Only addressing a percentage of these apps probably won’t solve the problem.

    While its important that Snapchat is looking to face this challenge, its incredibly difficult to build out your own program capable of addressing this challenge. That seems to be what they plan to do. Hopefully, this doesn’t backfire as they alienate legitimate third party developed apps that users have grown to enjoy.

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