Just when we were all settling in to staying in touch online, rumours have emerged that videochat app Houseparty somehow hacks your other accounts. Now the company is offering a reward of US $1 million (AU$1.6 million) to anyone who can provide evidence that these rumours are part of a smear campaign.
All over Twitter, people are freaking out that Houseparty is causing their Spotify, Snapchat and banking apps to be hacked, and encouraging others to delete it.
The one thing all of these posts have in common is that they provide zero evidence. While many contain screenshots showing a suspicious login on one of their accounts, there’s nothing linking this to Houseparty.
BEWARE! I know I’m not the only one with this problem! A few of my friends have been hacked by @houseparty if you look at the twitter feed! They log into your Spotify from Russia. Get your bank details and can hack it. It’s very simple once you click agree to terms and conditions pic.twitter.com/kBKU7dMUyd
— ellieb (@ellielaurenb) March 30, 2020
“We’ve found no evidence to suggest a link between Houseparty and the compromises of other unrelated accounts and we don’t know where or how it originated,” a spokesperson for the company told PEDESTRIAN.TV.
“As a general rule, we suggest all users choose strong passwords when creating online accounts on any platform.
“We are investigating indications that the recent hacking rumours were spread by a paid commercial smear campaign to harm Houseparty. We are offering a $1,000,000 bounty for the first individual to provide proof of such a campaign.”
We are investigating indications that the recent hacking rumors were spread by a paid commercial smear campaign to harm Houseparty. We are offering a $1,000,000 bounty for the first individual to provide proof of such a campaign to firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Houseparty (@houseparty) March 31, 2020
Many are claiming that the Houseparty app is malicious and the hacking is intentional. Some tweets even implied that Epic Games, which owns Houseparty and Fortnite, among other things, is for some reason interested in nicking your Spotify subscription.
Another interesting telltale is that no such claims have been made in the app’s nine-year history until now, at a time when everyone is flocking to it because of social distancing.
Of course, all apps can suffer data breaches. This would mean that users’ emails and passwords are illegally accessed, and because many people use the same details for multiple apps, this info could be used to hack into someone’s Spotify or Snapchat by a third party.
At least some decent memes came out of the hysteria.
Praying houseparty don’t hack into my bank account and take my £3.56 pic.twitter.com/LtHrXGaTqP
— SuheyrV2???????? (@shussein20011) March 30, 2020
I know house party is gonna hack my shit and steal my data but who else is gonna gas me up the same ???? pic.twitter.com/v2inmO21vi
— Hannah Noonan (@_hannahnoonan21) March 30, 2020
GUYS DELETE HOUSE PARTY!!! I just got an email attempting to HACK ME! DELETE NOW! pic.twitter.com/qSBMd4ZJu6
— matt williams (@mattyjwill27) March 30, 2020