200,000 Snapchat Pictures Leaked, Company Blames Third-Party Apps
The whole point of photo sharing app Snapchat is that photos, once sent, are supposed to disappear. However, thousands of these pictures have reappeared when hackers posted a database of purported stolen Snapchat photos and videos on the 4Chan message board. 4Chan, earlier, housed the first leaked nude photos of actress Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities.
As per reports, Snapchat has been breached of as many as 200,000 photos and videos, many of them extremely personal images. However, the company on Friday released a statement on Twitter saying, “Snapchatters were victimized by their use of third-party apps to send and receive Snaps, a practice that we expressly prohibit in our ToU. 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 ToU.
— Snapchat (@Snapchat) October 10, 2014
Although Snapchat has been hacked before, this time it isn’t the company’s fault. Third party apps, such as SnapSave or SnapKeep, seem to be the source of the hacking. These apps let recipients of Snapchat messages save them permanently. According to the reports, 4chan users have downloaded 13 GB worth of photos and videos and are creating a database to search the stolen images.
Even Snapchat users who did not use third-party apps could be victims, said Patrick Wardle, director of research at crowd-source security startup Synack. “This is an interesting scenario because the sender of an image doesn’t know if the recipient is using a third party service like SnapSaved.com or other third party applications. Therefore, everyone who sends a message using SnapChat’s service could be at risk,” Wardle said.