Secret is a new hit US mobile app, based on the idea of Twitter and Instagram, without the profile, name or any identity. This allows users on Secret to expose different “secrets” that they would otherwise never speak about on the Internet.
Like most cases with anonymity, Secret has become well liked by people who like to spread rumors, without the need to verify themselves. It has also been used in social groups, with Facebook, phone and email friend integration, to share secrets and status updates.
The app has made its way to the UK and a few other countries, but security firm Rhino Security Labs has pulled up a few issues with the anonymity of the users on the app, showing an easy way to hack the service and figure out who is the person behind the secret.
Using some HTTP proxy scripts, the security team was able to make a few fake accounts and easily spot out the real account and find their information. This might be inadequate for most people, but it still ruins the anonymous feel of the application.
Secret and other new apps like Snapchat, YikYak and Rumr all rely on the security overcoming hacks, without it, they are no better than Twitter, Instagram and other sharing websites. The information of users needs to be hidden, in order for these apps to attract teens.
It is a weird thing, seeing the rise of the anonymous social apps, but as more teenagers and people in general start hiding information online from parents and authorities, these apps have the key to having a social experience without revealing too much.
If Secret wants to keep on track to be the next Snapchat, they need to tighten up security and make sure all anonymous data is protected.