Snapchat hack spams users with smoothie photos

Members of the photo-sharing site say they're getting spam pictures of fruit smoothies. What's behind this juicy story?

Sluuuurp. Snapchat users are getting spammed with photos of smoothies.
Sluuuurp. Snapchat users are getting spammed with photos of smoothies. Snapchat

Snapchat is combating yet another security issue, and it's a juicy one.

In a story posted late Tuesday, Wired editor Joe Brown said his Snapchat friends were asking why he was sending them messages with photos of fruit smoothies. That was a surprise to Brown because he hadn't sent any such messages. Other Snapchatters have since complained about receiving these same messages, according to a Twitter search.

The messages serve up a URL for a company called Snapfroot, which then redirects the recipient to an page for a "Berry Delicious" smoothie. The spam outbreak so far seems innocuous, albeit annoying, but it does point to yet another vulnerability for the photo-sharing site.

Snapchat told Brown that these messages have been bouncing around the past couple of days.

"It's mostly cases where someone has your e-mail address and password and gets in on the first try," an anonymous Snapchat spokesperson told Wired. "We're not seeing any evidence of brute-force tactics."

Snapchat is trying to plug the leak. In the meantime, site users may want to change their passwords. The spokesperson also advised people to stay away from third-party apps that ask for your Snapchat username and password.

"Yesterday a small number of our users experienced a spam incident where unwanted photos were sent from their accounts," a Snapchat representative told CNET. "Our security team deployed additional measures to secure accounts. We recommend using unique and strong passwords to prevent abuse."

Updated 10:50 a.m PT: with statement from Snapchat.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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