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From Iceland — Google Thought Icelandic Photo App Was A Cyber-Attack

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Published September 27, 2021

Reetta Huhta

According to Vísir, the popularity of a new Icelandic photo app, Lightsnap, caused Google to shut down new registrations with the app in Sweden, where the app was launched mid-September. Google’s automated system believed that the app’s high demand was explained by a cyber-attack and froze it because of that. The block lasted for about 12 hours.

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Lightsnap mimics the once popular disposable cameras. The photos taken with the new app cannot be seen before they arrive at the user’s doorstep in a printed form. According to the CEO and co-founder of Lightsnap, Guðmundur Egill Bergsteinsson, the app is popular at parties and weddings, as well as with new parents who try to capture the memorable moments with their children.

Lightsnap was developed and launched in Iceland in 2020. During its test run, Nova’s customers had the opportunity to try the app by printing one photo for free. According to Guðmundur Egill, almost half of the test group made a purchase in less than a week. The popularity of Lightsnap made the founders open the app in other European countries as well.

“We were turned off because there was a suspicion of a cyber-attack”

In Sweden, the launch didn’t go as planned. About 12 hours after the app was put in motion, it blew up the number of new registrations. Quickly after that, the company was contacted by many customers complaining that they couldn’t access the app. “We called Google and tried to solve this, but they said that we were turned off because there was a suspicion of a cyber-attack on our system”, Guðmundur Egill commented. The shutdown lasted about 12 hours, but after the problem was resolved, new registrations began to flow in again.

Guðmundur Egill thinks that the reason for the popularity of Lightsnap relies on the experience: “When you get to see the pictures in printed form, the memories become much more real.”

Photo by Lightsnap/Facebook

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