HouseParty counters hacking claims with $1 million bounty

The app has been plagued by hacking accusations that could threaten its surging success

The owner of Houseparty has set a $1 million (£810,750) bounty to anyone who provides evidence that the video chat and game app fell victim to a commercial smear campaign.

Over the past few days, Houseparty has been plagued by hacking accusations which could potentially threaten its success and credibility; it's seen a surge in use after more people across the globe are forced into social distancing or isolation to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. 

Numerous users have taken to Twitter to share screenshots claiming that downloading the app led to them being locked out of their Netflix, Spotify, and even bank account apps, some claiming that they had received a message saying that their Spotify account was being accessed by someone from a different country.

Epic Games denied the allegations: "We've found no evidence to suggest a link between Houseparty and the compromises of other unrelated accounts,"

"As a general rule, we suggest all users choose strong passwords when creating online accounts on any platform," a spokesperson for the company said.

Although Houseparty can request access to a user's contacts and Facebook and Snapchat connections, it is not supposed to access Netflix or Spotify.

Houseparty, which describes itself as “the face to face social network”, allows users to hold group video chats as well as play virtual games with friends. Launched in 2016, it was purchased by Epic Games in 2019 and has enjoyed a significant rise in popularity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to data from App Annie, Houseparty downloads in the US have increased from 130,000 a week in February 2020 to around 2 million downloads in mid-March, while in the UK, it has topped the App Store’s Social Networking charts. 

The owners of the app are now offering $1 million to “the first individual to provide proof” that Houseparty had been subjected to a commercial smear campaign, encouraging anyone with information to send the evidence to bounty@houseparty.com.

Featured Resources

Next-generation time series: Forecasting for the real world, not the ideal world

Solve time series problems with AI

Free download

The future of productivity

Driving your business forward with Microsoft Office 365

Free download

How to plan for endpoint security against ever-evolving cyber threats

Safeguard your devices, data, and reputation

Free download

A quantitative comparison of UPS monitoring and servicing approaches across edge environments

Effective UPS fleet management

Free download

Recommended

Senate report slams agencies for poor cyber security
cyber security

Senate report slams agencies for poor cyber security

3 Aug 2021
Most employees put their workplace at risk by taking cyber security shortcuts
cyber security

Most employees put their workplace at risk by taking cyber security shortcuts

27 Jul 2021
61% of organizations say improving security a top priority for 2021
cyber security

61% of organizations say improving security a top priority for 2021

29 Jun 2021
ProtectedBy.AI’s CodeLock blocks malware at source code level
software as a service (SaaS)

ProtectedBy.AI’s CodeLock blocks malware at source code level

9 Jun 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox
Microsoft Windows

Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox

5 Oct 2021