Snapchat Vulnerability Can Lead to iPhone Denial-of-Service Attacks

snapchatlogoA vulnerability in the Snapchat app opens the iPhone up to denial-of-service attacks that can cause the device to freeze and crash, according to cyber security researcher Jamie Sanchez [Google Translation] (via The Los Angeles Times).

A weakness in the app’s system can allow a hacker to send thousands of messages to a Snapchat user in seconds, which can cause a crash that requires a hard reset to fix. Tokens generated by the app used to verify user identity can be reused by hackers to send a flood of messages.

By reusing old tokens, hackers can send massive amounts of messages using powerful computers. This method could be used by spammers to send messages in mass quantities to numerous users, or it could be used to launch a cyber attack on specific individuals, [Sanchez] said.

Sanchez demonstrated the flaw for The Los Angeles Times, sending a reporter 1,000 messages within five seconds in a denial-of-service attack, which caused the reporter's iPhone to freeze until it restarted.

The security researcher declined to contact Snapchat with his findings as he believes the startup "has no respect for the cyber security research community" after ignoring previous app vulnerability reports.

Snapchat has faced multiple problems as its private messaging app has grown in popularity, including vulnerabilities that allowed users to bypass screenshot notifications and a recent security breach that compromised the user names and phone numbers of more than 4.6 million customers, which Snapchat was warned about ahead of time by a security group.

When asked about this particular vulnerability, Snapchat said it was unaware of the problem but interested in learning more.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
85 months ago

snapchat is more trouble than what its worth. if you wanna sext just use iMessage


okay, let's do this
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
85 months ago
snapchat is more trouble than what its worth. if you wanna sext just use iMessage
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
85 months ago

After the earlier story that quoted Tim Cook saying spending 10 figures on a company is no problem, and now this snapchat story...

I wish it was April 1st, and the next post on MacRumors is that Apple has agreed to buy SnapChat for $1bil, just to see everyone lose their stuff in the comments.
I mean, Facebook bought Instagram for $1bil, so i could at least be a believable story for a few minutes. Just for the laughs. :p:)


FB already offer $3B for it and was spurned.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
85 months ago
If you use snapchat, I would suggest only allowing your friends/contacts to snap you.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
85 months ago
The fact that iOS enable an application to use all the memory/whatever in the phone is wrong in the first place (would it be Safari or Snapchat).

As for snapchat, it's useful to share quick pictures to everyone, make a "story" (a collection of many pictures, funny in parties!), send random stupid faces, doesn't require cell to be used (only wifi) thus is usable on ipods or with plans with low data, doesn't require to give your phone number, received/read notification, and is quicker to send than sms/mms across all devices.

1. As if your going to have that many friends on there for them to be able to send 1,000 images all at once.

2. As if the average friend will have the know how to perform this and if their your friend why would they want too?

So in reality is doesn't really pose a threat, but if a tech expert wanted too they could exploit it though they would have little t gain from it.

Also aren't cyber community group just the same groups of people who create viruses and other malware who are then taken on by anti virus companies?

It's quite easy to get someone's snapchat nickname (for instance using FB/twitter) and you can then crash their device whenever you want to piss them off. Any teen with some knowledge in dev can simply google the API (leaked on reddit some time ago) and have fun, and I suppose there'll be tools very soon to do it with no knwloedge at all.

Finally, while some cyber community groups are making viruses and all, some of them simply work on security to improve softwares.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
85 months ago

snapchat is more trouble than what its worth. if you wanna sext just use iMessage

okay, let's do this

Ooh, romance is in the air!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...

Alleged 'iPhone 12' Images Depict Circular Array of Magnets in Chassis

Wednesday August 5, 2020 4:39 am PDT by
New images shared on Weibo appear to show a circular array of magnets housed inside an "iPhone 12" chassis. The unverified images depict 36 individual magnets in a circular arrangement, suggesting they could be related to mounting or charging. EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of...