Why it matters: Leaked source code can lead to the discovery of vulnerabilities in software. Snap claims that no damage to its community has been done, but it is far too soon to know who has carefully crawled through the code to perform a proper analysis.
An update to the iOS Snapchat app has caused some source code to be leaked and subsequently uploaded to GitHub. Although Snap has done its best to patch the leak, security researchers and hackers alike have already had time to download and share the code.
Snap has confirmed that the source code leaked is actually legitimate and filed a DMCA takedown request over the offending files. “An iOS update in May exposed a small amount of our source code and we were able to identify the mistake and rectify it immediately,” said a company representative.
Even though Snap claims that the leak has not in any way impacted end users, code leaks often present experts with new ammunition to find potential vulnerabilities. It could be several months before it is actually safe to say that there has been no impact on the community.
Aside from the fact that one of Snap’s employees felt it necessary to write the takedown request in all caps, there is little useful information available. The leaker’s name and website have been redacted for privacy reasons and the GitHub repository hosting the leaked code has now been removed.
The leak of source code was revealed within hours of second quarter financial results. Investors in Snap saw increased overall revenue and increased revenue on a per-user basis during the announcement of second quarter results. However, waning interest following a poorly executed redesign of the app is going to be a long term problem.
Snapchat’s redesign has resulted in just over two percent of daily active users abandoning the platform over the last quarter. Notoriously bad optimization for Android phones aside from the Google Pixel line will also make it difficult to enter any emerging market where flagship devices are more of a rarity than the norm.