Snapchat user information released by hackers

Snapchat leak impacts 4.6 million users

Popular messaging service Snapchat is reeling today from the news that the personal information of around 4.6m users has been released to the internet by hackers.

While the identity of the hackers is unknown, they have released an anonymous statement in which they say explain the hack was possible due to a recently discovered security loophole, which has since been patched. The individuals responsible stated that they had taken this drastic action in an attempt to ensure that Snapchat makes a serious effort to bolster security.

The initial reaction from Snapchat users has been one of concern, with a number of social media users indicating that they would not be returning to the service until something significant had been done to address security problems.

Billion dollar mistake?

The news will cause particular concern at Snapchat headquarters, as it is widely believed that the company will be subject to a billion dollar takeover in the near future. Indeed, as recently as November 2013 a $3bn (£1.81bn) bid from Facebook for the service was rejected.

Snapchat's popularity is so widespread that it is unlikely that this news will deter potential investors altogether. However, it may yet have an impact on the asking price which founder Evan Spiegel can demand if he does eventually decide to give up control of the company.

Kleon West, business development director at theEword remarked: "This is the first negative publicity which Snapchat has been forced to deal with, and their response to the security setback is likely to have a significant impact on the future success of the app. Having developed a place in popular culture and an extremely large base of users, I believe that the future of Snapchat remains bright as long as this situation is dealt with correctly."