Snapchat is planning to put out a more secure version of its application following a breach that allowed hackers to collect the usernames and phone numbers of some 4.6 million of its users.
A hacker website recently claimed that it had a list of the user names and phone numbers for 4.6 million people on Snapchat.
The new version of the app will allow Snapchatters to opt out of appearing in Find Friends after they have verified their phone number.
Find Friends, which allows users to upload their address book contacts to help find friends who are also using the service, is the feature that was exploited by the hackers.
Los Angeles-based Snapchat has no source of revenue, but its rapid rise to an estimated 20 million U.S. adult users prompted Facebook to extend a reported $3 billion buyout last year.
Snapchat’s 23-year-old CEO Evan Spiegel turned down the overture. The user number estimate is based on census data and data from the Pew Research Center.
A firm named Gibson Security warned Snapchat of the security vulnerability on Christmas Day but Snapchat assured that it had implemented various safeguards to control its security. But still the security was breached as usernames and phone numbers of some 4.6 million of its users were published on a website called snapchatdb.info.
The breach came less than a week after the most recent warning from security experts that an attack could take place.
Snapchat was developed by Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy, then Stanford University students