- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hackers broke into about 4.6 million Snapchat mobile app accounts, stealing phone numbers and usernames and posting them publicly online.

The New York Post reported that the hackers seemed to have posted the numbers to send the company a warning.

They posted the numbers at SnapchatDB.info, but masked part of them and included the message: “[We’ve done this] to convince the messaging app to beef up its security,” TechCrunch reported.

Snapchat is an app that lets smartphone users send photos and videos that are actually timed to self-destruct in 10 seconds upon opening. That’s one of the site’s major selling points to the public — that those who don’t want their images shared in an online forum don’t have to worry because Snapchat automatically destroys them.

The hackers say the app is hardly as secure as touted.

“Our motivation behind the release was to raise the public awareness around the issue,” the hackers said, The New York Post reported. “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.”

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