Snapchat users are once again reporting what appears to be an instance of mass spam as the result of compromised user accounts. Snapchat is once again denying that their historically dodgy app has anything to do with it. What’s the real story?
Numerous users are taking to Twitter and other online forums (including Joe Brown of Wired) to voice complaints about a spam message being sent from their Snapchat accounts en masse to those on their friends list. The message seems to advertise a nutritional smoothie (or a related company). Along with a shot of the beverage in question comes text urging users to visit SNAPFROOT.COM (emphasis theirs), a URL that at this time redirects to an AllRecipe’s page for — you guessed it — a smoothie recipe.
Of course, Snapchat denies that the smoothie spam has anything to do with a brute force attack or other compromise to the photo messaging service’s systems. Instead, a Snapchat spokesperson said, “it’s mostly cases where someone has your email address and password and gets in on the first try.” Judging from the buzz around the net, the hacker (or hackers) have access to plenty of emails and passwords.
The only clue we have is a similarity to a hack that compromised the accounts of some Instagram users last summer. Hackers gained access and posted pictures of smoothies along with links to spammy websites on behalf of unsuspecting users.
The hack itself seems to be rooted more in mischief than any malicious desires, but any affected user has reason to feel uncomfortable. The best defense? Change your account credentials (your password, at the very least). As for Snapchat, with so many mounting concerns they have plenty of explaining to do. A complete audit and rethinking of current security measures would not be unwelcome.