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Tech

Snapchat Hackers Release Account Info On Millions Of Users

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Logo of Snapchat is seen at the front entrance new headquarters of Snapchat , the popular social network startup that lets users send each other photos that quickly disappear, November 14, 2013 in Venice, California. Snapchat recently turned down a $3-billion buyout offer from Facebook. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Logo of Snapchat is seen at the front entrance new headquarters of Snapchat , the popular social network startup that lets users send each other photos that quickly disappear, November 14, 2013 in Venice, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The popular social photo sharing app Snapchat has been hit by an unnamed hacker group.

Account information for more than 4.6 million users appeared online Tuesday.

Usernames and partial phone numbers were available for download on the hackers’ website for a time.

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The site has been suspended. The hackers said they released the information in a “white hat” effort to make Snapchat beef up security.

This comes after warnings in August of 2013 from security teams that user names could be matched to phone numbers, despite privacy settings. Gibson Security continues to share on its website detailed information about Snapchat’s “API” or “application programming interface” that would allow programmers to figure out how to exploit the vulnerabilities.

Snapchat was created by former Stanford students Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy.  It launched in 2011, and has become incredibly popular with teenage users, with users sending over 20 million photos each day. The images are only available for viewing for a short time before being removed by the app.

There was no mention of the security breach on Snapchat’s official blog as of Thursday morning.

Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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