Snapchat breach affects 7,200 Cdn users



QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:07 PM ET

Snapchat users in Manitoba and the territories have had their usernames and passwords posted online after hackers wanted to expose flaws in the messaging app.

On Wednesday, a website called SnapchatDB released 4.6 million phone numbers and usernames, but redacted the last two numbers in each phone number "to minimize spam and abuse."

There are 7,242 numbers from area codes 867 and 204 -- users in Manitoba and all three territories -- on the list.

The group behind the website said they did it because Snapchat was "too reluctant at patching the exploit until they knew it was too late" and it was shared "to raise awareness on the issue."

The release happened a week after Australian security research group GibsonSec said information, like names and phone numbers, users entered into the app was vulnerable to hackers.

In a statement on Dec. 27, Snapchat said it had introduced safeguards to make it difficult to access phone numbers. On Thursday, officials for the messaging service told The Associated Press they are investigating.

Snapchat is an app that allows users to send a photo and message to another phone. The photo disappears after 10 seconds, but users can take a screengrab of the photo to keep it. The service is popular among teens and has been criticized as a way for teens to send nude photos. It was allegedly used by 10 teen boys in Laval, Que., earlier this year to keep photos of female classmates. The boys have pleaded not guilty to a series of child porn-related charges.