A new security vulnerability found on Snapchat could render one’s iPhone useless. Per LA Times, this vulnerability allows hackers to overload a user’s inbox with messages which could trigger a denial-of-service on an iPhone or make an Android device horribly slow.
This vulnerability was first brought to light by security researcher Jamie Sanchez, who details that a hacker could reuse tokens in Snapchat — generated by the app to verify user identity — to send hundreds of messages within seconds. Spammers can use this method to send large number of messages to individual users or groups. Once the iPhone generates a denial-of-service message, the user will have no option but to reset his/her phone.
The timing of this revelation couldn’t come at a worse time for Snapchat, which is still reeling from the recent hacking attack that exposed 4.6 million user account information. The fact that the company knew about the vulnerability months before the attack didn’t go down well with many either. To prevent such attacks in the future, Snapchat introduced a human verification system, but shockingly that security system was hacked in 30 minutes flat.