For the most part, misinformation can be dangerous, but in rare instances it can be nothing serious, but still incredibly annoying.
With most of the world confined to their homes an app called Houseparty has become incredibly popular. Over on the Google Play Store the only app more popular than Houseparty is Zoom.
The app allows you to have a face-to-face conversation digitally. Houseparty currently boasts more than 10 million downloads and developer Life on Air joined Epic Games last year.
This week, however, a warning appeared online warning folks to stop using Houseparty.
According to a report by security researchers at Sophos, the warning states that a user’s banking and email accounts had been compromised.
Another warning goes so far as to accuse Houseparty as being the reason Spotify, Snapchat and online banking accounts were compromised.
But is there any truth to this?
The simple truth of the matter is that none of these accusations have any proof of malfeasance on the part of Houseparty.
Sophos has weighed in on this matter and while it hasn’t tested the app for vulnerabilities, it has applied common sense.
“To be honest, we can’t tell you that the Houseparty app is bug-free, because we haven’t decompiled or analysed it, and even if we had, working out that an app is totally free of vulnerabilities is a close-to-impossible exercise, as are many tasks where you are expected to prove a negative,” said Sophos.
The security firm goes on to say that even if Houseparty is a malicious app that has somehow managed to get on to the Google and Apple stores and earned millions of downloads without being noticed by the entire security community, deleting the app won’t help you.
“The idea that all the listed symptoms above might suddenly appear on account of a single app has to be considered extremely unlikely, in which case removing the app will leave you at risk when you think you are safe,” the firm added
Houseparty itself has said that all user data is safe.
All Houseparty accounts are safe – the service is secure, has never been compromised, and doesn’t collect passwords for other sites.
— Houseparty (@houseparty) March 30, 2020
The responses below the tweet above however, are adamant that Houseparty is the reason some of their accounts have been compromised.
Again, we must stress that no evidence is presented by any of these people aside from screenshots of login attempts on other apps.
In fact, we’ve seen no chatter about Houseparty from the security community at all and that is usually the first place we’d hear about a popular app being compromised.
Sophos has advised users who think they may have been compromised whether through an app or otherwise to updated their passwords and keep an eye on their banking channels.
Houseparty is safe folks, just use it safely and you should be fine.