The creators of Snapchat, the photo messaging application, are warning users about a spam campaign making the rounds.
“Upon initial investigation, it appears that an individual created multiple accounts and sent snaps to Snapchatters with public accounts,” Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel wrote in a blog post.
“Early this morning, some Snapchatters alerted us that they had received unwanted snaps from people who weren’t their friends. Upon initial investigation, it appears that an individual created multiple accounts and sent snaps to Snapchatters with public accounts,” he said on the blog.
“Our engineering team responded quickly by temporarily turning off new account creation and preventing Snapchatters from receiving snaps from friends that they had not previously added on Snapchat.”
Security experts from Sophos analyzed the spam and they’ve found that users have been receiving raunchy photographs of women.
The spam messages invite recipients to join a Skype conversation.
Experts warn that complying with the request and connecting with the sender on Skype could mean trouble.
The ones behind the Skype account could send out links to malicious websites or even make automated Skype calls to spread bogus antivirus warnings.
The app often ends up used by youths to send raunchy photos of themselves because the app allows the sender to control for how long the recipient can view the picture before deleting it automatically. This means the spammer could try to convince victims to send some compromising photos that could end up used for blackmail.
As a solution to this issue, Snapchat has temporarily disabled new account creation and has prevented users from receiving messages from individuals that they haven’t added to their friends list.
“Spam is a problem on many services with large audiences. We know spammers totally suck and we’re working on a long term solution to prevent spam from entering your feed. In the meantime, please adjust your settings to determine who can send you snaps. For a spam-free experience we recommend ‘Only My Friends’,” Spiegel said.