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Mobile Technology

Snapchat to update app security in wake of hack

US-based software maker Snapchat has announced plans to release a more secure version of its popular messaging app. The move has come after hackers collected and published the personal data of millions of its users.

Snapchat was going to release an updated version of its application allowing Snapchatters to opt out of appearing in Find Friends after they had verified their phone number, the US-based app maker announced Thursday.

Moreover, the software maker was improving rate limiting and other restrictions to address future attempts to abuse its service, Snapchat said in a blog post.

The Snapchat app is hugely popular among young people around the world, as it allows users to send smartphone photos and video snippets timed to self-destruct 10 seconds after being opened.

On New Year's Eve, hackers cracked Snapchat's security system and published the usernames and telephone numbers of about 4.6 million users. The anonymous hacker group, which called itself SnapchatDB, said it was working to raise awareness about data security in the firm and not out of malicious intent.

Confirming the breach in the blog post, Snapchat also admitted that it had ignored earlier warnings by security experts about vulnerability in its system. In addition, the firm was now providing the email address security@snapchat.com to make sure security experts could contact the software maker when they discovered new ways of abuse.

Created by students at Stanford University in 2011, Snapchat has rapidly risen to an estimated 20 million users. Social media rival Facebook reportedly made a bid worth more than $3 billion (2.1 billion euros) to buy out the firm last year. But Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, 23, turned down the overture.

uhe/tj (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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