Snapchat to update app in wake of hack

Posted at 01/03/2014 2:08 PM | Updated as of 01/03/2014 3:56 PM

WASHINGTON - Snapchat said Thursday it would be releasing an updated version of its hit app after hackers accessed the phone numbers and usernames of 4.6 million accounts.

The numbers were partially masked when they were briefly published on SnapchatDB.info.

In a blog post, Snapchat confirmed the New Year's Eve breach and said no other information was leaked or accessed.

It did not specify when it would be issuing the updated version of the app, which allows people to send smartphone photos or video snippets timed to self-destruct 10 seconds or less after being opened.

The fix will allow users to opt out of appearing in the "Find Friends" feature after they have verified their phone number.

"The Snapchat community is a place where friends feel comfortable expressing themselves and we're dedicated to preventing abuse," it said.

Australian firm Gibson Security warned last week that glitches in the app could be exploited by hackers.

"Our motivation behind the release was to raise the public awareness around the issue," the hackers said in a statement, published on TechCrunch late Wednesday.

Snapchat, providing the email address [email protected], said it wanted to "make sure that security experts can get ahold of us when they discover new ways to abuse our service so that we can respond quickly to address those concerns."

Created by students at Stanford University in 2011, Snapchat has become hugely popular with teens.

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