Once again the underhanded doings of hackers is setting the web on fire. Now the fiendish felons are threatening to leak upwards of 200,000 images from the popular photo sharing website Snapchat.
The infamous leak website 4chan.org’s underbelly users announced that they had access to hundreds of thousands of photos, personal photos from Snapchat. The hackers threaten to release a tsunami of the photos on Sunday into a searchable database that is tied to Snapchat usernames. The fiends state that they have been stealing photos that were sent by third party Snapchat app for years. Called “Snappening” this hack arrives a few weeks after hundreds of celebrity people’s private naked photos were published on the 4chan.org site after a leak from iCloud.
One might think that Snapchat has countermeasures in place to prevent such leaks but they state that photos are deleted from their databases when a member opens them or if unopened the photos are deleted in 30 days. The phone app however is different and that’s where the problem lies. Snapchat instead hides the pictures on android devices so that the OS and apps ignore the photos. The photos, however, are still accessible by some third party apps that don’t necessarily follow Android rules. The images remain and are recoverable and thus do not disappear, forever.
It’s theorized that an app, Snapsave might well be the source of the leak. Using Snapchat while sending a picture, the person on the receiving end takes a screenshot of the picture, however, the app immediately informs the sender. Snapsave proclaims to have the ability to save photos and videos unbeknownst to the sender. The archived pictures can then be stored in the cloud. Snapsave’s developer Georgie Casey states emphatically that his app has nothing to do with this debacle. That being said, however, the SnapSaved.com website no longer exists.
Perhaps the warning post began in May 2014 when Snapchat themselves stated that it might sometimes be possible to retrieve photos after they’ve deleted them. They warned users to be cautious with what they post.
The photos in question are reportedly those of an explicit nature and anyone can take a guess at what their neighbors have been doing, naughty or nice.
No one should download the leaked pictures as some may be of underage teenagers and that would be a crime in most countries in the world. Parents should have instructed their children not to post such pictures in the first place, however, sometimes the kids can circumvent the protections and their parent’s warnings.
The hackers are doing this likely just to show that they can, for bragging rights and not realizing nor taking responsibility for what ramifications may occur. Some may last years. All users of Snapchat may be at risk and if you think you are you might want to look for your username on 4chan.org’s site and demand any photos be taken down immediately. Check with your authorities on handling this as it may be delicate.