Snapchat Photo Hack, If Real, Wasn't Snapchat's Fault (Says Snapchat)

Josh WolfordTechnology

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Photos taken and transmitted via Snapchat may or may not have leaked on Thursday, but if they did, Snapchat assures you that its servers were never breached and it's the fault of unauthorized third-party apps.

Early Friday, Business Insider reported on "The Snappening", a supposedly massive Snapchat hack that includes upward of 200,000 photos. The hack was reportedly organized and disseminated on 4chan, with databases of the stolen photos popping up online.

Apparently, the leak has been in the works for some time.

Snapchat has responded, blaming banned third-party apps for the security breach.

"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," said Snapchat.

Reports vary, but apps like SnapSave and SnapSaved.com are said to be the culprits. These both allow Snapchat users to save photos – something the regular Snapchat app prohibits. Business Insider points out the SnapSaved.com now redirects to a Danish e-commerce site. That's obviously a bit fishy.

The initial report of "The Snappening" seems to have originated from a blog run by a guy named Kenny Withers, who claims to be a social media marketer. He posted some of the nude images, and well as various 4chan threads concerning the leaks.

So, is this a real leak? Some have their doubts. This reddit thread pretty much sums up those doubts – mainly that most of these so-called "leaked" images have existed for some time and that if anything, this could be another attempt to make 4chan look bad in the wake of the celebrity nude leak "The Fappening".

But Snapchat's statement carries an air of certainty regarding there at least being some sort of breach – even if the company isn't taking responsibility for it.

If hundreds of thousands of Snapchat photos were in fact stolen from a third-party app, there's likely a ton of images of underage users – which poses its own set of problems apart from the general theft of private photos. We'll update when we learn more about the alleged leak, but in the meantime, if you use Snapchat, you might want to be extra careful about the third-party apps you use.

And for Snapchat, this is a bad time to be embroiled in a security scandal.

Image via Snapchat, Twitter

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf