110799

Snapchat blames 3rd party apps for nude photo leak

Some 200,000 images and videos are being leaked across the Internet

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
October 10, 2014
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/39ab

For an app that is all about privacy, and making sure that what we share cannot fall into the wrong hands, Snapchat has had its fair share of hackings and leaks. There was the one this past New Year's Eve that resulted in 4.6 million user names and passwords being accessed. And then there was the time it was hacked by a weight loss company, which then sent out pictures of fruit smoothies to a bunch of users.

Obviously Snapchat has some issues with maintaining security. We all know that. However, I don't know that anyone was fully prepared for what's about to happen now. Sorry for the profanity, but shit is seriously about to hit the fan.

Hundreds of thousands of images and videos that had been uploaded to Snapchat over the last few years are about to hit the Internet in a massive leak, various news outlets are reporting.

The info dump already has a name; it is being dubbed “the Snappening," which is a play on "The Fappening," a.k.a. the massive leak of nude celebrities photos that hit the Internet in early September. Among those affected in that leak were Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst. This one, however, is likely to dwarf the previous leak just in terms of the sheer size and number of photos and videos that will be making their way across the Internet. 

The leaked images, as you may have guessed, will be posted onto 4Chan. (Where else?) Here is a screenshot of one of the 4Chan threads that is threatening to leak to pictures, via Business Insider:

In a statement to VatorNews, Snapchat confirmed the leak, but denied any responsibility, instead putting the blame on third party apps and the users who downloaded them:

"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," a company spokesperson said. "We vigilantly monitor the App Store and Google Play for illegal third-party apps and have succeeded in getting many of these removed"

So if Snapchat is not reponsible, then who is? There are two possible culprits.

Some reports are pointing to Snapsave, a third-party app that allows users to keep Snapchat photos and videos, which automatically delete when viewed through the official Snapchat app. Business Insider is also putting at least some of the blame on an website called Snapsaved.com, which it described as "a web client for the Snapchat app that allowed users to receive photos and videos, and save them online."

What both of these services were doing, though, was putting these saved Snapchat images onto their servers, which were then vulnerable to breaches and attacks. 

The most disturbing thing about this potential leak is the huge potential for child pornography. At least half of all Snapchat users are teenagers, and a number of them may have sent pictures and videos of themselves in various states of undress, under the mistaken belief that they would not ever see the light of day again.

The leakers of the Fappening ran into a similar problem with leaked pictures of Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, who revealed that she was underage when her photos were taken. This sent moderators of threads on both 4Chan and Reddit scrambling to remove the pictures as fast as they could.

Perhaps the same fear of being labeled a sex offender, and a distributor of child pornography, will stop some of these posters from putting up the Snapchat pictures in the first place.

(Image source: motifake.com)


Related news