snapchat thumbnail

Teen Discovers Popular App’s Major Security Flaws

snapchat banner imageGraham Smith, a 16-year-old from Dallas, TX, was a computer science nerd who taught himself coding and programming on his free time. One day, he decided to evaluate popular picture messaging app Snapchat’s code, and he found several flaws. After unsuccessfully contacting Snapchat regarding this flaw, Smith decided to put his knowledge to work. He used the hole in Snapchat’s code to find its founder Bobby Murphy’s cell phone directly, according to the Daily Beast. Smith then texted Murphy to show him how troublesome the security flaw was.

The Daily Beast reports that Snapchat responded to Smith’s notification of the hack by enabling bot-catching software (CAPTCHA) on the app. However, that was hacked within hours as well. Smith swears that he does not want to cause any harm to Snapchat, but rather help the widely popular company ensure its app is safe and secure.

Snapchat faced other security flaws when 4.5 million phone numbers were leaked by hackers in December. And according to the Daily Beast, Snapchat appeared reluctant to take important steps to secure user data then. Furthermore, the code used by hackers in December was pulling private phone numbers at a rate of 1,500 each minute.

Snapchat currently has an estimated 26 million users with around 400 million messages being received each day. 

Posted by Jamie Friedlander on Jan 29, 2014


  • Ahead of Current Events Ahead of Current Events

    In this episode, Ralph C. Jensen chats with Dana Barnes, president of global government at Dataminr. We talk about the evolution of Dataminr and how data software benefits business and personnel alike. Dataminr delivers the earliest warnings on high impact events and critical information far in advance of other sources, enabling faster response, more effective risk mitigation for both public and private sector organizations. Barnes recites Dataminr history and how their platform works. With so much emphasis on cybersecurity, Barnes goes into detail about his cybersecurity background and the measures Dataminr takes to ensure safe and secure implementation.

Digital Edition

  • Security Today Magazine - November December 2022

    November / December 2022

    Featuring:

    • Key Tech Trend
    • Is Your Access Control System Cyber Secure?
    • Constantly Evolving
    • The Talent Shortage
    • Looking Forward to 2023

    View This Issue

  • Environmental Protection
  • Occupational Health & Safety
  • Spaces4Learning
  • Campus Security & Life Safety