App of the minute Houseparty has announced a reward of $1 million to the first person able to share any evidence that rumours linking the app to other accounts being hacked are a part of a paid social media smear campaign.
Houseparty has quickly become a favourite chat app among self-isolating users, with an average of over 2 million people downloads per week in during March, compared to just 130,000 downloads during the same time last month.
However, appeals to uninstall the app have gone viral on social media after several users tweeted that installing Houseparty app resulted in them being locked out of other apps, including the likes of PayPal, Snapchat, Netflix, and Spotify.
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Reacting to these claims, Epic Games, the owner of Houseparty, said the application is secure and was never compromised. It has stated that there is no evidence of the app interfering or hacking other applications that are already installed on the phone.
The company smells foul play, claiming it received reports that these tweets were a part of a commercial smear campaign to harm the company.
“We are investigating indications that the recent hacking rumours were spread by a paid commercial smear campaign to harm Houseparty," Epic Games wrote in a tweet.
"We are offering a $1,000,000 bounty for the first individual to provide proof of such a campaign to bounty@Houseparty.com”.
According to a Forbes report, Houseparty does not show any signs of misuse, with the usage permissions being sought by the app were deemed logical and necessary. The app cannot be attributed with the accounts there were compromised, it added.
While no application can be termed 100% safe, experts advise that users should be watchful while granting permissions to a new app and strong passwords should be used while creating/maintaining an online account.