The Snappening: SnapChat website Snapsaved admits server hack as 90,000 private images leaked online

Snapsaved, a website which allows SnapChat users to save their images, claims hackers have breached its servers and stolen half a gigabyte of images, as attacks on other sites resulted in more than 13GB of images and videos leaking online.

As part of a move dubbed ‘The Snappening’, hackers this week published a 13.6GB file containing 90,000 stolen photos and 9,000 videos which were sent by SnapChat users through third-party apps and services. Those using SnapChat directly were not caught up in the theft, and instead the images were taken from apps and websites which use SnapChat’s services.

SnapChat’s unique selling point is how its users set how long a sent image can be seen by the recipient before it is automatically deleted; typically images are displayed for between two and eight seconds. Reports claim the stolen images were mostly of underage people from Europe and “explicit in nature”.

A website created to host the near-14GB file, apparently with no connection to the original hackers, claims it is seeing 10,000 unique visitors at any one time. The site is accepting bitcoin donations to fund extra servers.

Snapsaved confirmed on its Facebook page that it has deleted its website and database in response to the attack. A spokesperson for the website said: “I would like to inform the public that snapsaved.com was hacked, the dictionary index the poster is referring to was never publicly available. We had a misconfiguration in our Apache server. SnapChat has not been hacked, and these images do not originate from their database.”

The spokesperson added: “Snapsaved has always tried to fight child pornography, we have even gone as far as to reporting some of our users to the Swedish and Norwegian authorities. As soon as we discovered the breach in our systems, we immediately deleted the entire website and the database associated with it. As far as we can tell, the breach has effected [sic] 500MB of images, [but] 0 personal information [has been stolen from] from the database.”

Claims by hackers that they would publish a searchable database of stolen SnapChat images were dismissed by Snapsaved, which said: “The recent rumours about the snappening are a hoax. The hacker does not have sufficient information to live up to his claims of creating a searchable database.”

SnapChat servers 'never breached'

A SnapChat spokesperson said: "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.” 

SnapChat is currently going through a funding round which, according to reports, could see its valuation reach $10 billion (£6.2bn), despite it not earning any more from its users, or providing a business model for advertisers.

Source: Snapsaved Facebook page

 

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