Snapchat is supposed to be a safe space. A place where you can freely sext in peace without fearing repercussions from your significant others or family. Now that peace-of-mind has been thoroughly destroyed by a Utah security firm who say they have figured out a way to extract the allegedly dissolved pictures from Android phones.
Richard Hickman, a digital forensics examiner, discovered that the popular app installs a folder called “RECEIVED_IMAGES_SNAPS,” where the pictures–you guessed it–are stored. Similar to a magical cloak, the app affixes an extension called “.NOMEDIA” to the pictures, which can take hours to find depending on how much data is on your phone. He cracked the code of making the pictures viewable by altering the extension.
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.
There are now 150 million Snapchats sent every day. Very few of them are sent by people older than 30. [Business Insider]
Facebook is testing ads in your Graph Search, but so far they’re not based on your searches. (So you won’t get an eHarmony ad when you search “ex-girlfriends who I still love.”) [TechCrunch]
The founder of the Silk Road–who goes by the name “Dread Pirate Roberts”–isn’t too worried about Bitcoin booms and busts. “Bitcoin’s foundation, its algorithms and network, don’t change with the exchange rate.” [Forbes]
The New York Times won a Pulitzer for investigating Apple’s business practices. [Pulitzer]
Meanwhile, Funny or Die has released iSteve, its very own movie about Steve Jobs. [Funny or Die]
Welp, guess we’ve been using Snapchat all wrong. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel spoke this morning at AllThingsD’s Dive Into Mobile conference, where he that argued his creation “isn’t a great a tool for sexting” and stated that the future of apps should be ephemeral.
Mr. Spiegel said more than 150 million pictures are uploaded every day to Snapchat by people aged 13 to 25. Although he noted that “some” of its users are probably naked, usage dips after 11 p.m., when he assumes when sexts are sent. (We hope by that time people already have sealed the deal).
As if recently released prisoners didn’t have enough trouble readjusting to life on the outside, now they have to learn all sorts of new digital skills, too. [WNYC]
Spotify is reportedly launching its own video streaming service, with plans for original content. [Business Insider]
Yahoo just bought the news app Summly for a reported $30 million, making its 17-year-old creator a very, very wealthy young man. Try not to spend it all in one place, kid! [AllThingsD]
China’s getting its very own Snapchat clone. [Tech in Asia]
Speaking of China: Tencent’s QQ (the largest IM service in China, with 780 million MAU) has just released a version designed for Facebook. It comes with built-in chat translation features. [QQ]
Looks like hardware may finally be getting its chance in the sun at SXSW. [New York Times]
TechCrunch spoke to sources who were in the same fraternity with Reggie Brown and Evan Spiegel at Stanford and they corroborated the notion that Mr. Brown came up with the original idea for Snapchat. Winklevii’d. [TechCrunch]
Hey FYI, all those “free gift cards!” texts you were getting were actually spam (just in case you’ve never used a cell phone before). Luckily, the FTC is cracking down on 29 scam artists sending them out. [The Next Web]
Anita Sarkeesian, who became the target of trolls after daring to speak about women in video games, debuted her first episode of “Tropes vs. Women.” [The Daily Dot]
Pandora’s fourth quarter results were better than expected, but its CEO is still stepping down. [AllThingsD]
When Lawyers Send Letters
Litigation is the newest symbol that your startup has made it, as we’re sure Mark Zuckerberg can attest. Now that Snapchat, the “sexting” app that allows users to send photos that disappear after 10 seconds, is all grown up with a fresh $13.5 million raise, it has its very own lawsuit. Betabeat has obtained Read More
This is just your regularly scheduled friendly reminder that every free service you love will eventually by deluged with ads. Today, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel stopped by CNBC, an appearance that no doubt means many teens across America will soon be receiving a flurry of unwanted messages from their parents.
Guess what Mr. Spiegel is, like, totally psyched about these days? Advertising. Aren’t you excited about advertising? Everybody loves advertising:
You’d think after Hurricane Sandy, nothing short of the actual apocalypse could rattle New Yorkers. And yet, if Twitter is any indication, it seems there’s a fair bit of panicky flailing happening around the city right now. Well, buck up, because we’ve assembled a complete Internet preparedness kit featuring everything you might possibly need.
Maybe also buy some batteries, though?
Is Snapchat representative of a new wave of apps that tout privacy as the defining feature? Fred Wilson thinks so. [A VC]
Google’s obsessive drive to quickly index and display as much info as possible on search results pages could diminish Wikipedia’s traffic. [Optimize and Prophesize]
Coursera and other startups offering online classes could totally be the future of education…if only they figured out a stable business model. [New York Times]
Marissa Mayer made a Yahoo employee dance to “Gangnam Style” as cruel punishment for not participating in the employee feedback survey. [AllThingsD]
Is Reddit raising a new round at a $400 million valuation? [TechCrunch]