Meerkat Has Some Problems

meerkat

It would appear that despite its growth in popularity during this years SXSW in Austin, TX, live streaming app Meerkat has a host of issues on its hands. I first talked about Meerkat last week on the this site, you can find that post here.

Limited access

With its acquisition of the app periscope, Twitter took at aim at limiting Meerkats exposure. To do this, the microbloging  site began began taking steps to break Meerkats access to its social graph. This, however, did not prevent users from using the app it just severely slowed down its functions causing live stream videos to frequently fail.

Live Stream Hijacking

In a weird, but no surprising twist, a flaw has been discovered within Meerkat that allows users to hijack the live stream of other users for their own use. According to Engadget.com

“The flaw was discovered by developer Wesley Crozier, who found he could replace the unique streaming ID of any live video with his own feed, thereby hijacking the stream and turning it into his own. Using freely available software, Crozier listened to requests the app made to Meerkat servers and amended them as he liked. The process employs a man in the middle technique, meaning it doesn’t require physical access to Meerkat’s servers, but instead uses a proxy to amend requests as they pass to and from the app.”

Since the discovery of this flaw, Meerkat has been silently working to fix this issue.

Live streaming is certainly not new, however with its mobile interface and Twitter tie-in, Meerkat has been able to grew rather quickly. Its growth even has some saying it will change how we look at the 2016 elections. With Periscope still in beta but destined to be native in Twitter, it will be interesting to watch as mobile live streaming grows in the next 6 months.

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