The must-have video chat app for bored brits on lockdown is offering a huge reward for information about alleged hacking.
Rumours started circulating that the app had been targeted by cyber criminals.
Complaints about the popular video-calling service being “hacked” spread like wildfire online.
The app lets friends and family make video calls, play games and hang out in a virtual “house party”.
The rumours indicated that Houseparty was to blame for accounts on PayPal, Netflix and Spotify getting hacked into.
However, Houseparty strongly denies the rumours, and tweeted that it has found ‘no evidence’ of a data breach. They believe they have been victims of a smear campaign and it has been an elaborate hoax.
A spokeswoman said: “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.
Use a unique password for each account, and use a password generator or password manager to keep track of passwords, rather than using passwords that are short and simple.”
Epic Games, the developer behind the popular app, is offering a $1 million (£810,750) reward for evidence that the app was the victim of a sabotage to ruin its reputation.
The firm, who are also the creators of Fortnite and Gears of War, tweeted: “We are investigating indications that the recent hacking rumours were spread by a paid commercial smear campaign to harm Houseparty.
“We are offering a $1,000,000 bounty for the first individual to provide proof of such a campaign to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
While the mystery rumbles on, groups have voiced their concerns about the hidden dangers of using the app, especially for younger users.
UK charity Internet Matters explained: “Although the app is relatively secure as users can create ‘rooms’ and pick only specific names of the people to talk with, if a child doesn’t ‘lock’ their chat room and choose private settings, others can pop into the video chat.”
Worryingly, there’s the possibility of inappropriate content appearing, as the content of the videos also isn’t screened.
Internet Matters added: “The biggest risks are communicating with people children don’t know well, sexting, pictures and screenshots getting shared around, and spending too much time in virtual hangouts.”
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