“If you spend your time looking backwards, you’re just going to kill yourself.” Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel talked with Carson Daly to address the massive security breach that exposed 4.6 million Snapchat users’ phone numbers on New Year’s Day. That was as close as he got to an apology. Well, actually, I think the closest he got to an apology was telling Carson “at the time, we thought we had done enough,” which, again, isn’t an apology.
Lesson learned: Spiegel has no plan to cow to critics, but he also doesn’t possesz the healthiest outlook on regret. “If you spend your time looking backwards, you’re just going to kill yourself” !?!?!??!?! That sounds like something a Nazi collaborator would say, Evan. That sounds like the final statement from a decimated, soul-torn narrator at the end of a Cormac McCarthy novel. Get it together. You just had a security breach. Don’t freaking casually mention suicide. Just honestly explain to your users that you made a mistake, and work hard to make sure it never happens again. And maybe give the people who tried to help you before the security leak happened some credit?
In the interview, Spiegel emphasized the need for Snapchat to work with security experts both internal and external. But he (once again) didn’t mention Gibson Security, the hacker collective based out of Sydney, Australia, which uncovered the security exploit that lead to this mass phone number leak. Gibson Security says they told Snapchat about this issue four months ago, and while that’s a “he said-she said” situation, the Daily Dot alone has been publishing articles about this security problem since December 26, so Snapchat can’t downplay that there were plenty of warnings.
From the way it’s handling this breach, Snapchat doesn’t seem to be overly concerned with gaining allies from external security collectives, which is a shame, because from the way it handled all that led up to the breach, the company needs it.
Screenshot via Today.com