Clubhouse says it’s fixing bugs that let user leak audio streams

3 days ago 17

Clubhouse, the buzzy audio-only social app, said it has banned a user who managed to siphon audio data off the app to a third-party site.

The company said it is implementing new security measures but the incident will leave the burgeoning app red-faced as it deals with a surge in users interested in the checking out the audio discussion platform.

Bloomberg reported that a user, believed to be in China, was able to infiltrate several chat rooms on Clubhouse, where users gather to talk, and stream the audio to a separate third party site.

The security lapse flies in the face of one of Clubhouse’s tenets: that audio chats remain within their rooms and aren’t archived or listenable outside of Clubhouse.

Clubhouse said it has identified the user and permanently banned them from the platform. It added that new “safeguards” have been put in place.

It speaks to the challenges that a social media platform can face in protecting its service when it is suddenly met with a rush of sign-ups.

According to data from App Annie, Clubhouse has reached about eight million downloands while the app is still invite-only and only available on iOS.

The app is enjoying a moment in the sun with users, including celebrities, getting involved and drawing more attention to the app but that also draws scrutiny from security researchers.

Just over a week ago, a report challenged Clubhouse on how well it was securing its audio streams and metadata. Stanford Internet Observatory claimed in its research that some of Clubhouse’s data was being transferred to a server in China where it could be vulnerable to spying.

Clubhouse said it was rolling out “additional encryption” to its systems and preventing any further data being sent to China.

That incident and this latest one are reminders for users that what they discuss on the app may not be private.

The mishaps haven’t curtailed the company behind the app too much as it plans to open the app up to more users. It has quickly raised over $100m from investors since it launched less than a year ago and is now valued at $1bn.

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