Hackers can crash iPhones via Snapchat, says researcher


A cyber security researcher has discovered a vulnerability within the Snapchat mobile app that makes it possible for hackers to launch a denial-of-service attack that temporarily freezes a user's iPhone.

Jaime Sanchez, who works as a cyber-security consultant for Telefonica, a major telecommunications company in Spain, said he and another researcher found a weakness in Snapchat’s system that allows hackers to send thousands of messages to individual users in a matter of seconds. Sanchez said he and the fellow researcher discovered the glitch on their own time.

Flooding one user with so many messages can clog their account to the point that the Snapchat app causes the entire device to freeze and ultimately crash, or require that the user perform a hard reset. Snapchat is a popular mobile app for iPhone and Android devices that allows users to send each other photo and video messages that disappear a few seconds after they are opened by their recipients.