Software Features and System Requirements

Accessing a target Snapchat profile history by exploiting SS7 protocol vulnerability

1 :General Info

The early 21st century was marked by the rapid development in the fields of Internet technology and portable device manufacturing. It was the combination of these two factors that helped greatly improve electronic communications being a pressing issue at that point of time. As a result, special platforms (social media websites) started to emerge helping users from various parts of the world communicate with each other while minimizing costs. But there were a handful of such tools. And all of them offered limited functionality.

This type of communication really took off in the early 2000s. The rise of social media popularity can be explained by the fact that it in this very period budget PCs started massively emerge in the market. These PCs along with an Internet connection granted access to unlimited communications.

WhatsApp account can be used for sending text messages, sound signals, photo / video content, as well as for making audio / video calls. Snapchat ranks among leading social media websites in terms of active user base.

2 : The Main Application Features

Snapchat is a mobile app for messaging with attached photos and videos. Being a mix of social media platform and a messenger, it offers the following key features: images and messages from a sender are available to a recipient only for a certain period of time. App client was optimised for iOS and Android operating systems.

Key Snapchat features:

  1. Sending short messages (Snap)
  2. Chatting support (Chat)
  3. Viewing content posted by subscribers (Discover)
  4. Events mapping in real time (Snap-map)
  5. Saving the most interesting Snaps and Stories (Memories)

Snapchat stands out against other apps in terms of navigation. There are no menus on the right or the left. Users can switch between different interface elements with swipes. Snapchat is a rather new app targeted mostly at the rising generation. It is a mix of a messenger and a social media website with some unusual features. It's made unique by fact that photos or videos are erased after being viewed by a recipient. Thus, its developers provided users with maximum privacy and security in terms of personal data allowing for unlimited self-fulfilment.

3 : Snapchat Hacking Methods

Being forced to constantly upgrade their security systems, instant messaging systems and social media website developers regard the topic of protecting sensitive customer data as a constant «headache». Experts in the field of searching for vulnerabilities also improved their skills and developed new hacking mechanisms. A great number of effective solutions related to both confidential information protection and unauthorized accessing it emerged as a result of this confrontation.

We will omit all the previously developed methods of hacking Snapchat, since most of them have already lost their relevance by now. Software developers are constantly improving security mechanisms and have already eliminated about 90% of critical vulnerabilities. One must have special knowledge and expensive spying equipment to successfully exploit the remaining 10% of these «holes». But internet users are interested in more affordable and the most effective methods of hacking Snapchat.

Snap-Tracker™ web app is one of such solutions. The software bypasses the two-factor authentication system and gains access to Snapchat credentials. This method is based on exploiting the vulnerability of SS7 protocol. Any client needs only to open the website and launch the monitoring procedure without installing any extra software.

4 : Two-factor Authentication Issue

At sign-up with Snapchat, any user is required to provide a valid email address or a phone number. Most customers prefer the second option and bind their profiles to phone numbers. This is an extra security measure meant to both enhance confidential information protection and simplify account restoring in case user loses access to it (a service SMS with a code is required to replace credentials).

Serving as a key element of advanced security systems, two-factor authentication, which in theory was meant to provide customers with extra protection, in practice turned out to be the most vulnerable element, as it allows unauthorized access to any Snapchat profile. It's worth noting that software developers cannot fix this critical vulnerability, since mobile operators are responsible for it.

Snap-Tracker™ monitors traffic generated by a mobile operator and intercepts a package of system data sent as an SMS with an authorization code. Next, a target account is transferred to a new device (emulator) and an archive of user files containing the entire account history is generated. The procedure is automated and does not require the client to intervene.

5 : Vulnerability of SS7 Protocol

Most mobile subscribers perceive cellular operators as some kind of technological «giants» equipped with cutting-edge gear effectively protected from any external and internal threats. But this image was created by marketers attracting customers by conveying a false sense of security. It is enough to go a little deeper into this question to understand that things are not as perfect as they may appear to be at first. This is of no surprise, because any cellular network is a very complex system, operating based on a large number of subsystems. And it would be surprising if this mechanism was entirely vulnerability-free.

SS7 protocol is regarded the most critical «hole» within a typical security system used by cellular providers. It's a set of signalling protocols for configuring most telephone exchange stations. It operates based on using both analog and digital channels for data transmission and information management. This protocol is also important when there's a need in coupling a VoIP network and a public telephone network. Currently, SS7 system is used in some popular platforms of IP-telephony. All the above suggests that this is a widespread issue constantly endangering subscriber data security.

To launch a hacking session with Snap-Tracker™, please specify a username or a phone number of your target. Automated software will detect and use the critical vulnerability of SS7 protocol to intercept a system message containing an authorization code. This code is needed to transfer a target account to a new device (in this case, an emulator of the Snapchat mobile app) for subsequent exporting a user archive.

6 : Account Transferring to App Emulator

Snapchat emulator is an auxiliary web-based tool created by Snap-Tracker™ developers. It acts as a temporary storage for the data extracted from a target account. When a target account is transferred to this virtual emulator, a user archive is created.

Archive Contents:

  1. Messages received and sent by a target subscriber
  2. Log of incoming / outgoing audio and video calls
  3. Photos and videos sent with the messenger
  4. Content posted by a target user (Snaps, Stories & Memories)
  5. Directory of media brands available in the Discover tab
  6. Current application settings set by its user

Archive size directly depends on a target subscriber's communicative activity. If he often sends photos and videos with Snapchat, then a downloadable package of files can take up over 2GB of free disk space.

At the final stage, archive contents are checked with a built-in antivirus software, therefore a resulting downloadable file package is totally secure.

7 : Snap-Tracker™ System Requirements

The software runs remotely. I.e. Snap-Tracker™ by about 90 percent depends on the resources provided by its developers. It means that even old and weak in terms of computing power devices can be used to start hacking Snapchat.

System Requirements:

  • Device running popular operating systems (Windows, Android, iOS) and capable of providing access to the web app.
  • Updated version of a web browser (Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera).
  • Utilities for processing a downloaded file package (archiving utility, text editor, etc.).

Snap-Tracker™ is based on algorithms relevant to most mobile providers. This is evidenced by the fact that over 90% attacks on SS7 protocol end in success.

8 : Conclusion

The above method of hacking Snapchat accounts has been proving its effectiveness for more than a year. Being a cross-platform software tool, Snap-Tracker™ supports all major operating systems and device types, while controlling traffic generated by 95% of mobile providers. Despite the fact that issues related to the vulnerability of SS7 protocol cause increasing discontent among mobile subscribers every year, there are no serious positive shifts in terms of solving them so far. There are two reasons for this: mobile operators are not yet ready for such a large-scale upgrade of communication systems, while developers of communication tools are lacking authority to eliminate this «hole».

This means that Snap-Tracker™ will most definitely not lose its relevance in the coming years maintaining high performance. Based on user experience, it's currently one of the best tools for remote Snapchat monitoring.