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Snapchat hacking instills global panic

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The Snapchat hacking scandal is spreading fear and panic among online social media fanatics, corporate IT executives, and especially freelancers and online entrepreneurs. As internet freelancing is increasing to record numbers worldwide due to a long-struggling global economy and consistently high jobless rates, security breaches online are reaching an all-time high.

On the heels of the Yahoo malware attacks, the Facebook private messages mining outrage, and the Target Corporation credit card breach, Snapchat’s hacking scandal has a somewhat more ominous undertone. The hackers have made a statement that the sharing of the 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers, basically anyone who owns a Snapchat account, was meant to “teach Snapchat a lesson” rather than to steal financial data.

As far back as August of last year, the site was warned that their program coding had a massive hole in the website’s security. But Snapchat execs, including the wunderkind CEO and Founder Evan Spiegel, failed to take action, dragging their feet, which led to the “hacking out of spite”. Spiegel is not one of those whiz kids with an impressive reputation. In fact, CNET calls him an

“...arrogant, entitled youngster” and “an egotistical punk”.

The stories of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg reaching out to Speigel in the early days of Snapchat in order to help guide the novice entrepreneur, only to be flat out turned down without even saying “thank you”, are well documented. Snapchat and Speigel have such a tarnished reputation that the company has recently hired a Washington, DC lobbyist to help makeover their image.

But the hackers are not done yet. They have recently posted all of these user names and phone numbers online for everyone to see. Of course, they have hidden the last two digits of each phone number in order to maintain a little dignity, but they have not ruled out releasing the totality of the information at some point in the near future. As a result, USA Today is reporting the likelihood that this information is going to eventually get into the wrong hands.

Target, Facebook, Yahoo and Snapchat. The reign of personal privacy may be all but over.

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