An anonymous user made the announcement on January 1, 2014 in a Hacker News Post and stated that the database of Snapchat and 4.6 million usernames and matched phone numbers have been released. The Snapchat accounts were exposed during a database hack, even the ones which were marked as ‘private’.
Snapchat was aware of the hack for four months and ignored it, telling the press last week that it was only ‘theoretical’. The news of a leak broke one week ago, when it was revealed that researchers at Gibson Security published Snapchat code and enabled phone number matching after exploit disclosures were ignored. GibSec managed to highlight plenty of Snapchat exploits, however, they were immediately dismissed by Snapchat.
The website of Snapchat does not exist anymore, but the database has been copied, torrented and mirrored before its removal. Many websites were quick to offer a tool for users to see if they are in the database leak. Reports say that the last two digits of every phone number in the hack dump were hidden, however, SnapchatDB said that full numbers will be unveiled for interested parties.
The linking of phone numbers to usernames in accounts from the biggest cities in the United States and Canada is considered to be a huge private information disaster which could have been avoided if the company took measures when it was first warned.
Photo Credits: Montreal