Hacker Leaks Snapchat Source Code on Developer Platform GitHub
The source code of Snapchat, the very popular social media app, was posted online on the Microsoft-owned repository GitHub.
A GitHub repository called Source-Snapchat and with a description “Source Code for Snapchat” was created using the alias i5xx, and then the hacker, who claims to be from Pakistan, published what he calls the source code of Snapchat. GitHub, as we know, is a repository that is used by developers to share codes of their software, basically for open-source applications or for collaborative development projects.
Motherboard reports that it was an iOS update that exposed the source code on GitHub. The report says- “Earlier this year, Snap—the company behind social media network Snapchat—exposed some of the source code of the network’s iOS app, Snap confirmed to Motherboard on Tuesday. After someone archived that exposed code on GitHub, Snap told GitHub to remove the data with a copyright act request, Snap told Motherboard.”
Motherboard also quotes a Snap spokesperson who says-“An iOS update in May exposed a small amount of our source code and we were able to identify the mistake and rectify it immediately. We discovered that some of this code had been posted online and it has been subsequently removed. This did not compromise our application and had no impact on our community.”
It’s reported that Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., had responded to the leak by immediately filing a copyright act request under the DMCA ( Digital Millennium Copyright Act) following which the online repository hosting the source code was taken down. The Hacker News reports- “Though it is not clear precisely what secret information the leaked SnapChat source code contained, the company’s panic can be seen in the DMCA request (written in all-caps) which suggests the contents of the repository were legitimate.”
The code was removed after DMCA request and it’s reported that the leak hadn’t in any way impacted the Snapchat application or its community.
Meanwhile, there are reports that the hacker who is behind the whole episode has threatened to re-upload the Snapchat source code. The Hacker News reports- “It appears that the online user behind the source code leak created the Github account with the sole purpose of sharing the Snapchat source code as nothing else was posted on the account before or after the Snapchat leak…Moreover, some posts on Twitter by at least two individuals (one based in Pakistan and another in France) who appear to be behind the i5xx GitHub account suggest that they tried contacting Snapchat about the source code and expecting a bug bounty reward…But when they did not get any response from the company, the account threatened to re-upload the source code until they get a reply from Snapchat.”
GitHub wouldn’t restore the source code unless the original publisher, the hacker, comes up with a legal counterclaim that proves that he is the owner of the code. But this is not a permanent solution since the hacker, who has the source code, can post it again on online forums or misuse it in some way.