‘The Snappening’: Hackers Leak 200,000 SnapChat Photos and Videos Online

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The database for multiple SnapChat saving apps were allegedly hacked late Thursday afternoon. Hackers who stole the database leaked over 13GB of SnapChat photos and videos, about 200,000 images thus far.

Friday, Business Insider reported that “100,000 SnapChat photos, including underage nude pictures” were leaked by hackers claiming to have compromised SnapSave, a third party application that discreetly saves SnapChat images without the end user knowing.

The alleged SnapChat leak was released through the well known image board 4Chan. The forum readers dubbed it, ‘The Snappening,’ a sequel to, ‘The Fappening,’ the massive leak of of stolen celebrities nude photos including those of Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian among countless others.

Image boards of underground forums were hinting that something big was coming in the weeks. Thursday night, the news was revealed. A third-party SnapChat client application that logged every photo and video sent through it or years was hacked and leaked online. The massive hack rewarded hackers with 200,000 photos, accumulating to 13GB of SnapChat photos that should have been deleted.

The site that was originally hosting the files was taken offline, presumably due to it hosting nude photos of underage children and hosting illicit content. Regardless, 4Chan users downloaded the files and have begun creating a searchable database, where users can search the stolen images by a SnapChat username.

The database was originally hosted on viralpop.com, a fake competition website that installed malicious software on the computers of those taking part. As stated previously, the site has been taken offline, though thousands of users had already downloaded the collection.

Surfacing photos of the original database were posted online, the index appears to be a common threaded directory.

The Two Sites that May Have Been Hacked

Countless news reports suggest that third-party SnapChat client, SnapSave, was the first site hacked.The popular Android application allowed users to save SnapChat photos and videos, which automatically delete when viewed with the official SnapChat app.

“In a statement to Engadget, Snapsave developer Georgie Casey denied his app was to blame, saying ‘Our app had nothing to do with it and we’ve never logged username/passwords.’ He also denied that Snapsave stores photos online. This means that the hacked Snapchat client was probably a website, rather than an app,” Business Insider reported.

Business Insider was also contacted by an anonymous photo trader telling the company that the site affected was SnapSaved.com. The service acted as a desktop version or web client for the SnapChat app, allowing users to receive photos and videos through the service, also helping users save them online. Apparently users were unaware that all photos and videos passed through the service were collected, storing incriminating SnapChats on a web server, with the usernames of the senders included.

SnapSaved disappeared several months ago, the URL is offline but is said to direct to a Danish e-commerce site selling media equipment. Most of the saved stolen SnapChat photos found in the leak featured Danish in the overlaying message bar.

4Chan users also confirmed SnapSaved was the source of the stolen SnapChats.

Information on the third-party SnapChat client sites remains unclear as we don’t know if SnapSave or SnapSaved were created with the intent of intercepting the images. The case could be that hackers accessed the servers of one of the sites, which had unintentionally stored the photos, and rehosted the hacked directory online.

A SnapChat spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that the images came from third-party sites, denying any SnapChat servers were breached:

“We can confirm that Snapchat’s servers were never breached and were not the source of these leaks. Snapchatters were victimized by their use of third-party apps to send and receive Snaps, a practice that we expressly prohibit in our Terms of Use precisely because they compromise our users’ security. We vigilantly monitor the App Store and Google Play for illegal third-party apps and have succeeded in getting many of these removed.

Many users online claim the collection of hacked SnapChat photos contain large amounts of child pornography, including photos and videos sent between teenagers, who presumably believed the photos were deleted after viewing. Reports state SnapChat’s user base are teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17.

To clarify, SnapChat was not hacked nor did the company suffer any kind of breach. The leak of these SnapChat photos comes from third-party applications and websites storing the images on the server.

Photo via Maurizio Pesce/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

About Author

Brandon Stosh is the founder and CEO of www.freedomhacker.net. Stosh is a cyber security researcher and professional consultant who strives to provide reliable news on cyber-security based topics.

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