Houseparty is offering a $1 million to anyone who can provide evidence that it has been targeted by a paid commercial smear campaign after thousands of accusations that the app had compromised user accounts for other services appeared on Twitter.
As we reported yesterday, hundreds of users took to Twitter over the weekend to suggest that since downloading the Houseparty app, the security of their other internet accounts for services like Netflix, Spotify and Instagram had been compromised. From that report:
There are also a ton of people on social media complaining that since they have downloaded Houseparty, other apps have been getting repeated requests for password changes and failed logins from other countries.
In response to these initial accusations Houseparty issued the following tweet:
All Houseparty accounts are safe – the service is secure, has never been compromised, and doesn’t collect passwords for other sites.
— Houseparty (@houseparty) March 30, 2020
Overnight, however, the situation developed significantly, Houseparty again tweeting the following message:
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.
We have spent the past few weeks feeling humbled and grateful that we can be such a large part of bringing people together during such a hard time.
Despite Houseparty’s protests, its most recent tweet has also been met with a large number of responses from people who claim the app has somehow resulted in hacking attempts elsewhere. For example:
— Anish Shah (@an__ish) March 31, 2020
Forbes security expert Thomas Brewster has recently tweeted stating that he’s had “a few different researchers look at Houseparty” and that “they’re yet to find any notable security issue”.
The app was also plagued by reports that without ‘Private Mode’ enabled, strangers were able to join video chats at will. There is a simple fix for however which we covered in our previous report here. According to Apptopia, downloads of Houseparty have rocketed from 130,000 a week in February to 2 million a week in March.