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Snapchat Issues Apology after Employee Details Compromised by Phishing Scam

It seems that hardly a week goes by these days without at least one large company falling victim to a hacker or a phishing scam. This week, it was the turn of ephemeral messaging service Snapchat.

The company announced the data breach in a blog post published on February 28th, where they stated their embarrassment at the situation whilst making efforts to outline the issue in simple terms. If nothing else, you have to give them credit for their transparency.

"We’re a company that takes privacy and security seriously. So it’s with real remorse–and embarrassment–that one of our employees fell for a phishing scam and revealed some payroll information about our employees. The good news is that our servers were not breached, and our users’ data was totally unaffected by this. The bad news is that a number of our employees have now had their identity compromised. And for that, we’re just impossibly sorry."

"Here’s what happened: 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. To be perfectly clear though: None of our internal systems were breached, and no user information was accessed."

Users of the service will find a measure of comfort in the fact that it was only employee data that was revealed to the scammer(s), but for those working within the company there is real cause for concern. Although Snapchat haven't specifically stated what information was passed on, the "payroll information" released could potentially include salary data, social security numbers and bank details. In the wrong hands, these details could be used to cause serious trouble for those affected.

Snapchat have reported the crime to the FBI, who are now investigating the isolated incident, and have pledged to "redouble our already rigorous training programs around privacy and security". At least this time users were unaffected, so you can carry on using the service without any real worry, but Snapchat will need to make good on that final promise or risk another, much more damaging incident in the future.

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working as Editor of Social Songbird, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @SamAtSMF

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Snapchat Issues Apology after Employee Details Compromised by Phishing Scam Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, March 02, 2016 Rating: 5

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