Millions of accounts compromised in Snapchat hack


Hackers appear to have posted account info for 4.6 million users of quickie social-sharing app Snapchat, making usernames and at least partial phone numbers available for download.
The data were posted to the website By late Wednesday morning, that site had been suspended.

The hack was seemingly intended to urge Snapchat to tighten its security measures. The anonymous hackers said they used an exploit created by recent changes to the app, which lets users share photos or short videos that disappear after a few seconds.

“Our motivation behind the release was to raise the public awareness around the issue, and also put public pressure on Snapchat to get this exploit fixed. It is understandable that tech startups have limited resources but security and privacy should not be a secondary goal. Security matters as much as user experience does,” the hackers said in a statement to Techcrunch.

In the statement, the hackers said they blurred the last two digits of the phone numbers they posted but were still considering whether to post more with the full number visible.

By Wednesday afternoon, developers had used the data to set up a whether their accounts had been compromised.

Snapchat did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Last week, — a group of “white hat” hackers, meaning they don’t exploit the security gaps they find — published what they said was code that would enable such a hack. The SnapchatDB group said Snapchat implemented “very minor obstacles” after that.

“We know nothing about SnapchatDB, but it was a matter of time til something like that happened,” Gibson Security wrote Wednesday on its Twitter account. “Also the exploit works still with minor fixes.”

Snapchat appeared to minimize the potential damage from such a hack, claiming that it would require a “huge set of phone numbers, like every number in an area code,” to match usernames to numbers.

“Over the past year we’ve implemented various safeguards to make it more difficult to do. We recently added additional counter-measures and continue to make improvements to combat spam and abuse,” the post read. “Happy Snapping!”

Source: CNN


Reddit Plea Leads to Funding for Cryonic Preservation of Deceased Neuroscience Student

Kim Suozzi, a terminally-ill neuroscience student with brain cancer, died at the age of 23 on January 17th. Her one wish before she died was to have her body cryonically preserved, but she lacked the many thousands of dollars required to finance such a service. In an effort to raise the funds, Suozzi turned to Reddit in August last year, imploring readers of the site to donate to her cause. That post led to a fund being set up by a group called Society for Venturism, a not-for-profit volunteer group that has raised funds for other cryopreservations in the past. That fund, in addition to the money raised directly from Reddit, was enough to pay for Suozzi’s cryonic preservation with a firm called Alcor last week.

As pointed out by io9, cryonic preservations can cost anywhere from $28,000 to $200,000, depending on the options chosen. They are only performed on patients that are declared clinically dead, and are usually funded by secondary life insurance plans taken out by the patient before they have died.

“Our hope is that technology will continue to progress to the point that Kim may have a real chance of living again in the future,” said Suozzi’s boyfriend in a statement provided to Alcor. “Unfortunately, the development of the requisite technologies could be decades or centuries away. Since Kim is no longer with us to explore and innovate in the field of neuroscience, she is counting on all of us to push for the innovations she had hoped to see in her lifetime.”

Now that she has been cryonically preserved, Suozzi joins the list of notables such as Ted Williams who have had their bodies preserved in the name of science.

Via: The Verge