In recent weeks, invite-only iOS chat app Clubhouse has become increasingly popular, with the likes of Elon Musk stating their love of the application. With that interest also comes increasing scrutiny, and the latest development involving Clubhouse is a security breach where a user was able to stream live audio to a third-party website.
The breach came a week after Clubhouse said that it was taking steps to make its app as secure as possible, ensuring that the candid conversation that happen on the platform remain there.
According to Bloomberg, an unidentified user was able to siphon off audio from multiple chats over the weekend. In a statement to the publication, Reema Bahnasy, a spokeswoman for Clubhouse said the user in question has been permanently banned, along with new safeguards being added to the platform to prevent this from happening again.
While it is good to hear that it was able to act relatively swiftly to the breach, it is still unclear whether the breach at the weekend was an isolated incident or there have been more than one instance of this happening. It also brings into question to what extent user chats are encrypted, as security concerns about the app continue to grow.
Speaking to Bloomberg last week, when the app first signalled its intent to enhance security on the platform, Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) director Alex Stamos, noted that, “Clubhouse cannot provide any privacy promises for conversations held anywhere around the world.”
The SIO also published a report last week where it discovered that much of Clubhouse’s backend operations and functionality are run by a Shanghai-based startup called Agora, Inc., which again raised privacy concerns over potential links to the Chinese government in terms of how data is handled.
Clubhouse was quick to quell any concerns, explaining that the startup, “does not have access to, share, or store personally identifiable end-user data.”
With the candid nature of the chat app being one of its biggest selling points, should the security concerns raised in recent days prove valid, it would undoubtedly impact its new found popularity.