How to tell if your Snapchat has been hacked, and how to get it back

David Bisson

How to spot and recover from a hack against your Snapchat account

Snapchat

Snapchat is one of the most popular messaging services available today.

As of June 2016, more than 150 million active users interact with one another daily via Snapchat.

Some use the app strictly for its originally advertised purpose: sending images that are deleted shortly thereafter.

Others are drawn by the service’s more recent features. Those include Snapcash, a method introduced for users to send mobile payments to their friends.

Given the app’s popularity, it’s no wonder online criminals have set their sights on hacking users’ Snapchat accounts. Some have already met with limited success.

For instance, back in late 2013, a group of hackers published a database containing the usernames and phone numbers of approximately 4.6 million Snapchat users. Nefarious individuals could have used that information to profile targets across multiple web accounts.

We also can’t forget about the security incident that occurred back in February 2016. In that attack, someone posed as the company’s CEO and convinced a Snapchat employee to send over payroll information. The successful phish ultimately compromised dozens of employees’ identities.

Snapchat

To be fair, a mega breach on the scale of what affected LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Yahoo has yet to strike the messaging app.

But that’s not to say criminals aren’t trying to find a way into people’s accounts. Hackers clearly have Snapchat in their sights, which is why users need to learn how to spot the warning signs of a hack and how they can recover their accounts if someone compromises them.

Let’s get started.

Looking for a Warning Sign

When it comes to spotting a hack against their accounts, Snapchat users should look out for three warning signs:

Snapchat

  1. Unusual activity. A user finds that their account doesn’t look the same as when they left it. Their settings or display name might be different. Alternatively, they might have several new friends whom they don’t recognize. All those observations point to someone having messed with their account.
  2. High rate of re-authentication. A user shouldn’t have to log into their account every time they try to access Snapchat’s app. But they might need to do so if someone’s been logging on in their name from another device, thereby logging them out. For that reason, a user should assume hackers are afoot if they need to keep re-authenticating themselves.
  3. Revealing correspondence from Snapchat. Like most web services, Snapchat has implemented measures designed to protect its users’ account security. That’s why the app’s parent company sends emails and/or texts a user whenever a change is made to their account, such as an updated password or email address, or when Snapchat detects a login session from an unusual location. If a user starts receiving these types of messages from Snapchat out of the blue, they can bet someone has hacked their accounts.

Recovering your Account

The ease with which users can recover their Snapchat accounts depends on to what extent hackers control them. The greater the amount of control, the more difficult the task of recovery. From easiest to hardest, here’s how users can recover their accounts:

  1. Change your passwords. In some situations, hackers obtain a user’s login credentials, gain access to their profile, and don’t do anything with the account settings once they’re there. If that’s the case, a user can recover their account by logging in and changing their password.
  2. Use “Forgot your Password”. Attackers aren’t always hands-off. Sometimes they’ll lock a Snapchat user out of their account by changing their password. Fortunately, that user can recover their account by using “Forgot your Password,” an option provided by Snapchat at the login screen that passes a temporary password to them via their email address or mobile phone number.
  3. Contact Snapchat. The worst-case scenario is when hackers ransack a user’s account and change not only their password but also their email address, phone number, and other contact information. When that happens, a user should go to Snapchat’s help page, fill out a request for an account recovery, and specify that their account has been hacked.

Conclusion

When it comes to their Snapchat accounts’ security, users shouldn’t just tune into detection and response. They should also consider how they can prevent a hack in the first place. They can do so by using a strong password that’s unique for their Snapchat account, never sharing access to their login credentials with anyone, and setting up two-step verification on their account.

David Bisson David Bisson is an infosec news junkie and security journalist. He works as Contributing Editor for Graham Cluley Security News and Associate Editor for Tripwire's "The State of Security" blog.

18 Replies to “How to tell if your Snapchat has been hacked, and how to get it back”

  1. Shocking that such a big company can allow their systems to be hacked. Too many big companies are focusing too much on their intake and not enough on their security. Its hacking of accounts now, but what happens when the hackers turn to Snap Chat and try to break down them rather then their users! Then they will invest in their security. It always seems to be reactive though, never proactive when it comes to security.

  2. I've been logged out of my snapchat and I can't get back in I have not verified my email or number I'm setting due to no email at the time and new number.PLEASE HELP 😓

    1. Me too! I was hacked yesterday morning and now they're using my account to hack my friends , I have sent Snapchat a report but they haven't responded:(

      1. Me too I just got hacked today and I messaged them with my friends phone and the hacker responded. I said "hey." They said "hey." I was so shocked and I responded "can I have my account back" and they said "yes for 100$."like how broke can yu be.

      2. I was hacked twice by the same person and that person used my pictures for some fetish they had…. and I had recovered the accounts then deleted everything in it and then deactivated them.. now they back activated… snapchat security is soooo bad

  3. I was on my Snapchat and I woke up in the morning on the 28th of July 2017 and it says you have been logged out of Snapchat… I tried logging back in the it says wrong password so there ik my Snapchat has been hacked so pls help😭😭😭

  4. My daughters account was hacked and we think it is a person she is no longer friends with. Can they use her account to impersonate her to her group?

  5. I'm guessing my account was hacked because my fiance received a message from my account that wasn't sent by me and it was made to look like it wasn't meant for her… Now she thinks I'm cheating WTF! Anyone had the same thing happen or heard if any glitch like this on snapchat?

  6. My sisters account is also hacked and they are threatening to leak her photoes!! Snapchat are not replying to my email. They have changed my email address to theirs so I cannot email do forgot password option!

    Help!

  7. my account was hacked too and they changed my email and password and phone via and the snapchat support isn't helping at all so does anyone know how i can regain my account ?? please help !

  8. i just got hacked don't know by who I've changed my password if that doesn't help i will delete it that means one less user….

  9. Does anyone know if I've been hacked, a few months ago my screen froze and I was logged out but i don't know if it could be a problem with my phone or not because it's a 5s and it's been glitching me out of games as well.

  10. Has anyone recieved messages saying," your camera has been detected using your snapchat". This is the second time this happens to me . And it gives me the dates and times too. I have already changed my password and its happening again. Can someone let me know if my account is being hacked or what is going on. If you have recieved this messages and fixed it or figured it out please let me know.

  11. my account was hacked in 2017 on july 11th my snapchat username is gregorytaylor27 and soon i get on a my friends apple computer i go see if my account got a reset link from support snapchat since my account was hacked somehow they gave me a worng username that i created on the andriod which is gregory27taylor that the account i dont use and support snapchat somehow logged me out of my old account which gregorytaylor27 cause i had a andriod that my friend gave me since my ipod was taken away and im Fucking mad still cause i wish had access to my account my password not working at all no more and Yesterday i found out how to hack people snapchat account what yall should do is look it up look up how to hack my snapchat account and thier videos on youtube that should do it cause idk why the hell support snapchat not helping nobody they dont know if us people no the wae to hack into are own accounts when i get a new phone which i dont have now i mo hack my account cause this is bullshit and if yall wondering how im texting im doing it on my 3ds

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