Snapchat is famous for its disappearing messages, falling for isolated phishing scams is something that nobody wants to be famous for. Especially a company which is still in the early post startup stage.
Snapchat disclosed yesterday that their payroll department was targeted in an isolated phishing scam where someone impersonated the CEO by email and asked for employee payroll information. Snapchat said the following:
“Last Friday, Snapchat’s payroll department was targeted by an isolated email phishing scam in which a scammer impersonated our Chief Executive Officer and asked for employee payroll information. Unfortunately, the phishing email wasn’t recognized for what it was — a scam — and payroll information about some current and former employees was disclosed externally.”
Its not the first time that Snapchat has been at the centre of a high profile leak. In 2014, some 200,000 photos were leaked in a file dump online when third party apps connecting to Snapchat were compromised.
This time around there are no users affected and the company is shouldering the blame for the leak. While they have not disclosed exactly what kind of information has been leaked, payroll information could include anything from bank account details, social security numbers, personal addresses, emails or ID.
This is all highly sensitive information which in the hands of the wrong person could create absolute chaos for those affected. Snapchat has reported the crime to the FBI and has offered affected employees two years identity theft insurance and monitoring for free.
Snapchat said it is “impossibly sorry” for this breach. It vowed to “redouble our already rigorous training programs around privacy and security” in the hope of preventing future incidents like this happening again. However, it will be unwanted publicity as it is the second high profile leak that has happened on the Snapchat service in two years.
While users may not be facing the headaches themselves this time around, people will be wondering if further security issues will follow for Snapchat.