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Houseparty Responds As People Claim App Has Been Hacked

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Houseparty Responds As People Claim App Has Been Hacked

Houseparty creators have been forced to release a statement denying their app has been hacked after several claims from fans.

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The video chat and gaming app has become a self isolation must have in recent weeks, rising from 130,000 downloads a week in mid-February to 2m a week by mid March, as friends used it as a way to stay close during the coronavirus pandemic.

But now people are flocking in hoards to claim their Spotify, Paypal, Uber and even their bank accounts have been hacked after downloading the app.

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The app's owner Epic Games has spoken out to deny the breach, instead insisting it has fallen victim to a smear campaign.

The video chatting app allows friends to group together virtually (Credit: Unity Blott/ Tyla)
The video chatting app allows friends to group together virtually (Credit: Unity Blott/ Tyla)

The company - which also owns cult game Fornite - is now offering a $1m (£810,750) reward to the first person who can present evidence that they have fallen victim to a commercial smear campaign.

"We've found no evidence to suggest a link between Houseparty and the compromises of other unrelated accounts," a spokesperson for the app said.

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"As a general rule, we suggest all users choose strong passwords when creating online accounts on any platform.

"Use a unique password for each account, and use a password generator or password manager to keep track of passwords, rather than using passwords that are short and simple."

It added: "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 [email protected]"

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Despite the vehement denial, some users are still convinced there's a link between Houseparty and the hacking they're experiencing.

One Twitter user wrote: "BOYCOTT HOUSEPARTY, just found out that's how my Spotify was hacked and how many others are being hacked on various things, disconnect snapchat and delete account."

While another warned: "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".

A third reported similar issues. "EVERYONE DELETE HOUSE PARTY. I've had my Uber account hack and two friends have had their house party accounts hacked. Make sure you disconnect your Snapchat, delete your house party account and then delete the app," they said.

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While another urged: "Anyone who's using the #Houseparty app be super careful. My bank account was hacked today and it has been linked back to the app. Lots of other people are experiencing the same thing. I'd definitely recommend deleting it. (It was fun while it lasted)."

It's worth noting that despite the volume of complaints linking the hackings to Houseparty, there is, as of yet, no evidence that it is responsible.

The only link that seems to be recurring for people is that it was the last app installed when the hacking took place.

However, many people have deleted their apps just to be on the safe side.

The Houseparty app has become a firm favourite for many (Credit: Houseparty)
The Houseparty app has become a firm favourite for many (Credit: Houseparty)

Speaking to The Sun, Brian Higgins, a cyber-security specialist from Comparitech, said: "There is a rising wave of cybercrime activity directly linked to the global uptake of group social media platforms now that everyone is in isolation.

"I'd definitely recommend deleting any apps you think may be causing you and your contacts harm.

"However, in this case I'd give Houseparty a chance to investigate and explain what's happening.

"They're clearly providing a vital service to people's mental health and wellbeing."

We'll update you as soon as we know more!

Featured Image Credit: Houseparty

Topics: News, Technology

Joanna Freedman
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