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A Third-Party App May Have Leaked Tens of Thousands of Snapchat Photos

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Someone is trying to make "The Snappening" happen.

Whether they're trying to make it happen as a nude photo dump or as a hoax is unclear.

Named after the recent nude celebrity leak, rumors are circulating that hackers have gained access to stolen Snapchat photos and plan to match the sexually explicit ones up with usernames and release them in a torrent on October 12.


According to Business Insider, the hackers gained access to a 13GB library of snaps from a third-party website that people used to save Snapchat photos without the sender knowing. The leaks did not come from Snapchat's servers.

Snapchat acknowledged the leaks but abdicated responsibility.

"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," a Snapchat spokesperson told Gizmodo.


Snapchat may monitor the App Store vigilantly now, but if this leak is for real, they still allowed a shitload of user photos to get collected surreptitiously before getting the right illegal app removed.

But that's a big if. Snapchat might not have anything to apologize for at all this time around (besides giving potentially violated users some COLD ASS treatment).

Business Insider identified the business behind the leaks as a website called SnapSaved, which is no longer functional. The New York Times investigated SnapSaved and discovered whoever ran it has obscured their identity. Ars Technica noted that Snapchat's API has been reverse-engineered in the past, which SnapSaved could have used to obtain Snapchat photos...but there's no evidence that this happened.

SnapSave, a more well-known third party app, has adamantly denied being involved. ""Our app had nothing to do with it and we've never logged username/passwords," SnapSave rep Georgie Casie told Engadget, adding that SnapSave doesn't run on a cloud. Casey emphasized to Gizmodo that his app has "nothing to do" with this alleged leak.


Motherboard downloaded a torrent allegedly containing some of the leaks. "It does appear that at least some snaps were hacked from somewhere, by someone," Jason Koebler wrote, noting that most of the images were non-pornographic. Comforting if this is real, but definitely not proof that it is.

This could be a dupe to implicate 4Chan, like when a group of hoaxers made it look like 4Chan was threatening to leak nude photographs of Emma Watson. One of the first blogs to publicize this story is run by Kenny Withers, a social media marketer who posted some of the allegedly leaked photos. Some people are arguing that the supposedly leaked photos are pictures that have been online for a long time and are not from Snapchat at all.


Here is a 4Chan thread reposted from Kenny Withers' blog discussing them...but a 4Chan thread is not exactly the most reliable source:


If the leak is real, though, there is likely an ample amount of child pornography there (Snapchat's userbase skews heavily underage). And it is a huge deal, and the hackers should go to jail. However, right now there's no proof that these photos actually came from a hack. They could easily be photos from elsewhere online.

Whether or not this is real or bullshit, it's a good reminder that Snapchat has a pretty shitty record at keeping user info secure and it is not the ideal platform for sending or receiving sexually explicit pictures.


We're actively looking for hard evidence that the leak occurred (or that it didn't) and will update as we find out more. [Business Insider]

Photo via Getty