Oh Snap

Snapchat Users Annoyed by Sexts—When They Come from Naked Spammers

People still have sex using Skype?
Not us. (Photo: Naked Security)

Not us. (Photo: Naked Security)

Welcome to the big leagues, Snapchat! This week the photo-sharing app experienced a startup Bar Mitzvah, of sorts, when it was inundated with its first major spam attack.

Unsuspecting users received an explicit snap from someone calling herself named “Honey.Crush9,” inviting them to a sexy Skype conversation. Anyone foolish enough to take the bait ended up with—surprise, surprise!—malware. 

Naked Security reports that the spammers exploited a little-known loophole on Snapchat’s app that allows anyone to send you pictures—even if you haven’t added them to your authorized friends list. Here’s how you fix it:

According to Snapchat’s FAQ, you can change this setting. It tells users to tap the camera icon as if you are going to take a picture, then, tap the square button on the bottom right corner of the screen. Select “Settings”, go to “Who can send me snaps…”, and select “My Friends” instead of “Everyone.”

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, fresh off bragging about the app’s explosive growth, apologized for the debacle on the company’s blog. Acknowledging that spammers “totally suck,” Mr. Spiegel wrote that the engineering team quickly halted the problem from spreading further by stopping new accounts from being created.

Poor Mr. Spiegel—guess a few nudes sneak onto his app, after all.

Follow Jordan Valinsky on Twitter or via RSS. jvalinsky@observer.com