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Snapchat apologizes for security breach and rolls out fix

More than a week after a data breach that saw millions of usernames and partially redacted mobile numbers belonging to Snapchat users posted on the Web, the company behind the photo-sharing app has finally rolled out a fix and apologized to the millions of users affected by the incident.

The app update – for both iOS and Android devices – offers users the chance to opt out of having their mobile phone number linked to their username in the Find Friends feature, the part of the app which hackers exploited to get hold of personal information belonging to some 4.6 million members of Snapchat’s community.

Once you’ve installed the update, you can find the option in Settings > Mobile #.

In a blog post Thursday, ‘Team Snapchat’ promised that it’s continuing to look at ways to improve its service in an effort to prevent future security scares.

Absent from last week’s blog entry in which it first acknowledged a hacker had posted the database of personal information onto the Web, the company even found time to apologize to its community, saying, “We are sorry for any problems this issue may have caused you and we really appreciate your patience and support.”

In the immediate days following the security slip-up, Snapchat came in for criticism from some quarters for appearing to show a lack of contrition, with CEO Even Spiegel also failing to offer an apology during an appearance last week on NBC’s Today show, despite having been warned last year that his app contained security vulnerabilities.

Security firm AdaptiveMobile said 92 percent of the affected Snapchat users were located in just six states, namely California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Florida, and Massachusetts.

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