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Snapchat unveils new anti-hacking tactic that it hopes will close security loophole [UPDATED]

Snapchat’s 2014 got off to a rocky start when hackers exposed 4.6 million users’ phone numbers. The disappearing photo-messaging app pledged to make security improvements after the incident, but until now these improvements have remained vague. 

But Snapchat has revealed its latest attempt to crack down on hackers. The app now tests users to see if they are robots with a feature we’ll call “Where’s Ghost-o?” You have to pick the images that feature their ghost logo from others that have somewhat similar-looking white blobs. TechCrunch’s Josh Constantine reported that this tactic closes a security loophole for its new phone number-verification policy. 

Snapchat didn’t develop this new tactic on its own. As with its previous security breach, a hacker pointed them in the right direction. The Snapchat team took advice from Graham Smith, a sixteen-year-old sophomore at a Dallas, Texas high school.

Previously, Snapchat has been obnoxiously reluctant to acknowledge how white hat hackers had tried to warn them of security problems, and it doesn’t seem like much has changed – even though they really should’ve been accepting his help graciously and probably, you know, offering him a job, it doesn’t seem like the Snapchat team has learned its lesson about being nicer to the people trying to help it. Smith is unhappy with how Snapchat treated him. Here’s what he told Constantine in a series of Twitter DMs: “Snapchat is doomed forever as far as security. Even if they fix this once and for all. They have the wrong idea. They don’t work well with outsiders. Overall it was a terrible experience. And I will never work with Snapchat even for a ridiculous sum of money.” 

Digital Trends reached out to Smith to get some more details, but he hasn’t responded. We will update if we hear back.

{UPDATED: We never heard back from Smith, but security experts have already hacked this security measure, so… Snapchat really does appear to be screwed.} 

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