The phone numbers and usernames of more than 4.6 million Snapchat users have been leaked on the Internet by a group that claims it wants to raise awareness about security flaws in the messaging app.
The leaked information pairs usernames with the users’ locations in the form of their phone numbers, which have been partially redacted in the database posted online, the Verge reports. They left off the final two digits of each number “to minimize spam and abuse,” according to SnapchatDB, the anonymous group or individual that leaked the numbers online. According to SnapchatDB, a person could download the data and “find phone number information associated with Facebook and Twitter accounts, or simply to figure out the phone numbers of people you wish to get in touch with.”
SnapchatDB says the leak affects the “vast majority” of Snapchat users, though research on Snapchat’s userbase suggests that may be an overstatement. According to Reddit users sifting through the data, all affected users are in North America but only 76 of the 322 area codes in the United States appear in the database. As of Wednesday afternoon, the website had been taken down, but a website to check if your number has been leaked was still working.
Snapchat, reportedly valued at more than $3 billion, has come under criticism in recent weeks for failing to respond adequately to security experts pointing out vulnerabilities in its system.