Snapchat vulnerability can cause iPhones to temporarily freeze

Snapchat logoAccording to cyber security researcher Jamie Sanchez, a vulnerability exists in the Snapchat app that allows for iPhones to be targeted with denial-of-service attacks. Each message that is sent over Snapchat has a token to verify user identity, although a glitch allows for a hacker to use the same token and send thousands of messages to a Snapchat user in a matter of seconds… 

“Flooding one user with so many messages can clog their account to the point that the Snapchat app causes the entire device to freeze and ultimately crash, or require that the user perform a hard reset,” reports The Los Angeles Times. “This method could be used by spammers to send messages in mass quantities to numerous users, or it could be used to launch a cyber attack on specific individuals.”

When reached for comment, Snapchat claimed that it was unaware of the problem but willing to learn more information. The company recently came under fire for choosing to ignore advice it was provided last August about a flaw that could expose user data. That breach happened in January, when the personal information of nearly 5 million Snapchat users was exploited. The app has since been patched.

The report adds that while Android smartphones are also susceptible to this issue, they would simply slow down instead of crashing. In the meantime, millions and millions of unsuspecting people will continue using Snapchat to send photos and videos that disappear once opened by their recipient. But in the wake of all these security compromises, perhaps it’s best to stay away for now.

[LA Times via MacRumors]

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