If you’re following this story, then you know that SnapChat, a super-popular App that a large number of my high school freshmen have on their phones, had a security problem that allowed a hacker to get the usernames and phone numbers of 4.6 million SnapChat users.
I was eager to see if any of my students were in the set of leaked accounts. I wanted to create conversation around why data leakers do this, and what appropriate responses would have been for the users and creators of such technology.
So I did some poking around. I downloaded the data (46MB ZIP). I to open it as a CSV in Excel 2013, but it couldn’t. I opened it in Notepad+ and searched for my number. Not found. I searched for anything in 425 area code (Bellevue-Redmond). Nothing. I searched for anything in 509 area code (eastern WA). Nothing. So none of my students were in the leaked data.
It turns out only a select few numbers in 76 area codes were shared.
And it’s interesting that only 10,623 numbers in 206 area code (Seattle) were shared. That’s only 1 part-per-thousand of the total numbers in 206. Which is either a comment on the importance of SnapChat in Seattle or the underestimation of area codes to include from the hacker.
Or take a look at 815 area code in the picture above, if 215,953 numbers in 815 use SnapChat, that is 21 out of every thousand phones (or 2%)! Not bad for a small App that doesn’t care about security.
So, can someone get me all the 509 numbers at SnapChat please? It would help me in lessons at school next week.