Snapchat hackers threaten another massive online leak after “The Fappening” and this one’s called “The Snappening.” The hackers could release up to 200,000 stolen images.
When users take photos and videos on Snapchat, they think they will disappear as soon as they are viewed. The thought that the messages will disappear leads some users to take nude or sexually explicit photos and videos, and many of these users are underage individuals. Business Insider reports that hackers appear to have been collecting images for years, which especially threatens the privacy of users who took inappropriate Snaps.
Snapchat said on Twitter that the company’s own system had not been hacked. According to the company, the hackers accessed the images through a third-party app that some Snapchat users utilize to store their photos.
The two third-party apps that have been accused are Snapsave and Snapsaved.com. Snapsave developer Georgie Casey denies his app is to blame and claims they never logged usernames/passwords or saved images. Snapsaved.com disappeared several months ago and the URL redirects to a Danish e-commerce site. Most of the intercepted Snapchat images posted featured overlaid messages in Danish.
Business Insider explains that users of the chat forum 4chan have downloaded the files of the photos and videos. A searchable database will allow people to find stolen images by Snapchat usernames.
The database of these Snapchat files was posted on viralpop.com, a fake competition website that sent a virus to the computers of users trying to view the files. That site has been taken offline, though allegedly thousands of people have already downloaded the collection.
This incident is not the first time Snapchat has been hacked. Last January, around 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers were collected and leaked online.
Snapchat has been under scrutiny for its handling of its users’ personal information for months. The company agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission last May over charges that it misled users about its data collection methods. The company was also charged with failing to tell users that their messages could be saved without their knowledge.
Though “The Fappening” exposed many celebrities’ private photos, the hackers in charge of “The Snappening” could be even more dangerous because the release threatens hundreds of thousands of people.
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