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Houseparty launches $1.6 million bounty to clear its name

Do you think Houseparty is causing hacks? Images: Getty, Houseparty

Popular video chat app Houseparty is offering US$1 million (AU$1.6 million) to anyone who can clear its name, as it becomes embroiled in claims of hacking and poor user security. 

“We are investigating indications that the recent hacking rumors were spread by a paid commercial smear campaign to harm Houseparty,” it said on Twitter. 

“We are offering a $1,000,000 bounty for the first individual to provide proof of such a campaign to bounty@houseparty.com.” 

The bounty comes as users complain of having other social media accounts hacked after downloading the app, which allows users to video chat and play games with their friends while they’re using Houseparty. 

“EVERYONE DELETE HOUSE PARTY. I’ve had my Uber account hack and two friends have had their house party accounts hacked,” one user wrote. 

“Make sure you disconnect your Snapchat, delete your house party account and then delete the app.”

However, others have questioned whether those complaining of hacks have any proof that the hacks occurred due to Houseparty. 

Houseparty, which is owned by Fortnite owner Epic Games, insists its platform is secure. 

“All Houseparty accounts are safe - the service is secure, has never been compromised, and doesn’t collect passwords for other sites.”

What should I do? 

Here's what you should do. Image: Getty

If it will make you feel better, delete the app. However, there’s no concrete evidence tying the app to the hacking claims. 
So, it’s better to change the passwords on any other linked social media and Spotify accounts to one that is harder for hackers to guess, UK IT security firm Sophos said in its Naked Security blog. 

“Do change passwords and watch financial statements carefully if you think your accounts have been hacked,” Naked Security said. 

“Whether you think a specific product is to blame or not, just removing one app from your phone is not enough to ‘unhack’ accounts that have already been taken over.”

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