The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to an increase in the use of social networking and streaming apps. As a result, YouTube and Netflix have had to take measures to mitigate the effects of high traffic levels. Another app that has seen increased activity is Houseparty—a video chat and gaming app, which is owned by Epic Games. It has become one of the most downloaded apps in several countries including the United Kingdom.
But it has also become a target of many users claiming that downloading Houseparty leads to bank accounts and other popular services such as Spotify and Netflix being hacked. A Twitter user by the name of Megan Cassidy urged people to delete the app claiming that it hacked into bank accounts and other services.
To these claims, Epic Games has responded by saying that the claims have "no evidence" to back them up. The firm tweeted and clarified users that "All Houseparty accounts are safe - the service is secure, has never been compromised, and doesn’t collect passwords for other sites."
Epic Games further tweeted that it is likely that it was the target of a commercial smearing campaign instead. Further, the company is offering a $1M (£810,750) reward for the first person who provides evidence of the same.
We are investigating indications that the recent hacking rumors 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.— Houseparty (@houseparty) March 31, 2020
Vis à vis the situation, a spokesman for Epic Games claimed that the firm "found no evidence to suggest a link between Houseparty and the compromises of other unrelated accounts." And that "as a general rule, we suggest all users choose strong passwords when creating online accounts on any platform."