Coronavirus: Houseparty app offers $1,000,000 reward to find who started the hacking rumour

Houseparty is offering a $1 million (£811,000) reward to anyone who can provide the service with proof that it has been the target of a ‘smear campaign’ over its security.

ON Monday, the video messaging app’s makers denied claims circulating on social media that it has led to other online accounts being compromised. Houseparty has now said it is looking into suggestions that the hacking rumours had been created as part of a ‘paid commercial smear campaign’.

The group video calling service has risen to prominence during the coronavirus pandemic, allowing people in locked-down countries such as the UK to catch up with friends and family while apart.

Houseparty has become one of the most downloaded apps in several countries including the UK.

According to Apptopia downloads of the app rose from an average of 130,000 a week mid-February to 2 million a week in the middle of March.

Online gaming firm Epic Games, which also makes Fortnite, purchased Houseparty from its creator in 2019.

Epic Games has not said why it believes Houseparty were the victim of a smear attack but promised to pay the first person to provide evidence of this.

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Lizzie Day