Can we talk about a smear campaign for the HouseParty app?

For several months, the playful video conferencing app Houseparty has been involved in a wave of accusations and denials about the reliability of its use.

Indeed according to some messages that circulate, this application is involved in several hacks. Although this has been rejected several times by the publisher, the fact remains that this campaign continues. Indeed, one can read in different messages, this kind of text: "Clear Houseparty! My Spotify account was hacked after I installed the app! ». The accusation messages are in several languages, they are noticeable on different social networks.

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Note that the special video conferencing application dedicated to the game was bought in 2019 by Epic game, the publisher of the game Fortnite, and with the containment that began since the middle of last March, its use has increased considerably like its colleague Zoom. According to a study conducted by AppAnnie, the specialized website, HouseParty has placed first among the most downloaded applications on iPhone since March 21

In addition, Houseparty's publishing company continues to deny the various comments related to any hacking: "All Houseparty accounts are secure," the company's official twitter account wrote on March 30. She goes on to stress: "Our service is secure, has never been compromised and does not collect passwords for other sites. ». Being the subsidiary of a company with a stock market value of more than $15 billion, the financial losses will be enormous if the rumor continues to circulate and hit the target in the heart. "I can't swear that ther[Houseparty]e is no bug, because I couldn't scan its code, and it's almost impossible to be sure that an application is bug-free (…) But[les accusations publiées sur les réseaux sociaux] seem to imply that Houseparty is malware, which actively tries to hack all aspects of your online life, which is highly fanciful. Wrote a security researcher at the computer security company Sophos named Paul Ducklin.

For the moment, for those who evoke the idea of computer hacking, and what to doubt, no evidence justifies this hypothesis.But the rumor is not just about outright hacking, it's also about leaking password data. This could have allowed outsiders to log into certain user accounts using this information. If we cannot rule out the possibility that there is a security flaw or even some bug, because it exists in all possible applications, in the context here it seems quite curious. Indeed, it seems quite surprising that a data leak affecting thousands of people around the world can go unnoticed as well, especially login data such as passwords. Especially in case of password theft, the most recommended action is to change the same information instead of uninstalling the relevant application.

"On closer inspection, some of the testimonials published online also seem to be subject to caution. Not that their authors are necessarily lying: many report having been hacked through fraudulent emails, very common, which may have been received without having any connection with Houseparty; some attribute to Houseparty hacking or attempted hacking unrelated to the fact that the application has recently been installed." Noted Damien Leloup, a journalist at Le Monde. Some even confessed that they had not thought about the application before when they were hacked until they had read the messages in directly accusing it. Some testimonials read: "Everyone should delete Houseparty, I had these weird emails during the week and I didn't think about it any more than that until I saw everyone's tweets. ».

Unfortunately, the video conferencing application of games, does not have a good reputation in its way of managing the data of its users. Its popularity makes it subject to much criticism and also gossip of all kinds. Some practices and requirements when using the app also have something to do with it. Indeed, HouseParty requires many permissions, too much permission to the tastes of some not to mention that it records the location data on its mobile version. On the other hand, it has been widely criticized for having unclear terms and conditions of use. These are all negative points that have surely aroused a collective desire to conduct a smear campaign. The company that publishes the app is considering a paid smear campaign. According to her, some people were paid to carry out this kind of denigration on several scales. If she did not explain the reasons for believing this, she will propose on March 31st the sum of 1 million to all persons who will prove that "the recent rumors of hacking were broadcast as part of a paid smear campaign aimed at harming Houseparty".

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