Houseparty offering $1 million for proof hacking rumors are a smear campaign

Houseparty (Image credit: Houseparty)

What you need to know

  • Popular video-calling app Houseparty is offering a $1 million bounty to anyone who can prove it has been hit by a paid smear campaign.
  • That's after countless Twitter users took to the service claiming the app had lead to other online accounts being hacked.
  • Services such as Netflix, eBay, Instagram, and Spotify were all reportedly compromised.

Houseparty is offering a $1 million to anyone who can provide evidence that it has been targeted by a paid commercial smear campaign after thousands of accusations that the app had compromised user accounts for other services appeared on Twitter.

As we reported yesterday, hundreds of users took to Twitter over the weekend to suggest that since downloading the Houseparty app, the security of their other internet accounts for services like Netflix, Spotify and Instagram had been compromised. From that report:

There are also a ton of people on social media complaining that since they have downloaded Houseparty, other apps have been getting repeated requests for password changes and failed logins from other countries.

In response to these initial accusations Houseparty issued the following tweet:

Overnight, however, the situation developed significantly, Houseparty again tweeting the following message:

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 have spent the past few weeks feeling humbled and grateful that we can be such a large part of bringing people together during such a hard time.

Despite Houseparty's protests, its most recent tweet has also been met with a large number of responses from people who claim the app has somehow resulted in hacking attempts elsewhere. For example:

Forbes security expert Thomas Brewster has recently tweeted stating that he's had "a few different researchers look at Houseparty" and that "they're yet to find any notable security issue".

The app was also plagued by reports that without 'Private Mode' enabled, strangers were able to join video chats at will. There is a simple fix for however which we covered in our previous report here. According to Apptopia, downloads of Houseparty have rocketed from 130,000 a week in February to 2 million a week in March.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9