Snapchat to Detect and Warn Users They’re Utilising Third-Party Apps


snapchat_logo_hq_reutersEphemeral messaging service Snapchat, following last month’s leak of images via third-party apps, on Tuesday announced a change in the way it treats third-party apps.

The company says it will notify those Snapc hat users who may be using third-party apps, and will prompt them to change their account passwords, apart from warning them to stop using third party apps. “Starting today, we will notify Snapchatters when we have detected that they may be using third-party apps and we’ll ask those Snapchatters to change their password and stop using unauthorised apps,” added the company blog post.

The announcement from Snapchat comes almost a month after the ephemeral messaging service Was Haked and 500MB worth of images were leaked. The leak was identified to be due to third-party services, with the popular Snapsaved.com named, a website that allowed users to save images sent via Snapchat.

Snapsaved soon after came forward to admit its servers had been hacked, and said on its Facebook page that it had deleted its entire website and database as soon as it discovered the intrusion.

Snapchat however made a statement clearing that its servers were not breached, nor was it the source of the leaked images. The company blamed for what was being referred to as “The Snappening”. This did not lift the blame entirely from Snapchat however, as it proved that developers or criminals were able to access Snapchat’s private API that it used to run the service, and  out the firm’s cavalier approach to privacy was unbecoming of a disappearing chat service. The company should have been able to detect and stop third-party services, experts argued.

“Any application that isn’t ours but claims to offer Snapchat services violates our Terms of Use and can’t be trusted,” Snapchat  in a blog post on October following the leak. “We are grateful that the service provider acknowledged that Snapchat was never compromised, but we wanted to use this as an opportunity to reiterate the unfortunate threats these third-party applications can pose to our community.” The post discouraged users from utilising third-party apps, and detailed that the firm was working on a public API platform that will make it safe for third-party apps to utilise what will then be a ‘Snapchat platform’.

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