#Privacy: Houseparty offers $1m reward 

Houseparty users have took to social media claiming that their Netflix, PayPal and Spotify accounts were hacked. 

Houseparty, a video conference application surged popularity in the UK amid lockdown restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus. The app rose from an average of 130,000 downloads a week mid-February to 2 million a week mid-March. 

Last night, users started complaining that their Spotify, PayPal, Netflix and banking accounts were compromised, blaming Houseparty. 

Houseparty has denied any hacking rumours, stating: “All Houseparty accounts are safe – the service is secure, has never been compromised, and doesn’t collect passwords for other sites.”

Despite the explanation, many users have encouraged others to uninstall and delete the app from their devices. 

To which Houseparty responded: “We are investigating indications that the recent hacking rumors were spread by a paid commercial smear campaign to harm Houseparty. We are offering $1,000,000 bounty for the first individual to provide proof of such a campaign to bounty @houseparty.com.”

A Houseparty spokeswoman told Business Insider that there is no evidence “to suggest a link between Houseparty and the compromises of other unrelated accounts.”

Though the spokeswoman advised that users shouldn’t use the same username or passwords across different accounts. 

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

Malware researcher at ESET, Lukas Stefanko tweeted: “Houseparty hasn’t hacked your bank account.”

Stefano added: “Based on Tweets, people installed trending app, but we don’t know what else they installed or where else might entered Houseparty credentials that could be reused.”

It should be noted that the app does not access third-party apps like Netflix or Spotify.


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