A purported vulnerability within the Snapchat mobile app is making some users very apprehensive today.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a cyber security researcher says the vulnerability in question enables hackers to launch a denial-of-service attack aimed at iPhones.
When successful, such efforts temporarily freeze the device.
Jaime Sanchez, who works as a cyber-security consultant for Telefonica, a major telecommunications company in Spain, said he and another researcher found a weakness in Snapchat’s system that allows hackers to send thousands of messages to individual users in a matter of seconds. Sanchez said he and the fellow researcher discovered the glitch on their own time.
In some cases, the attacks can be so severe that they require a hard reset.
Complicating matters, Sanchez says, is that those behind the popular social app have “no respect for the cyber security research community.” Consequently, Sanchez claims to have had no contact with the company, which has “earned that reputation by ignoring advice in August and on Christmas Eve from Gibson Security, a security group that predicted a flaw within the app could be used to expose user data.”
“They warned Snapchat about issues — about the possible dump of database — and Snapchat didn’t care,” Sanchez tells the L.A. Times.