The Snappening? Massive Snapchat content hack may include child porn

The Snappening? Massive Snapchat content hack may include child porn
Up to 200,000 images and videos from the photo messaging app Snapchat were apparently nabbed by the same hackers behind the massive celebrity nude link. Many of the pictures posted online may depict compromising images of teenagers.

The content captured after some users opted to use a third-party website called SnapSaved.com, which lets users save incoming messages after handing over their login details to the site. This allowed them to keep photos sent via the mobile app which otherwise would have been deleted within 1-10 seconds and later access them on desktop computers.

By handing over their passwords, however, SnapSaved.com was given access to Snapchat’s servers, where the content was culled. After permanently saving the photos to its own servers, SnapSaved ended up being hacked.

Due to the technical specificities, many users believed that it was Snapchat itself that was a hacked, a claim Snapchat developers and SnapSaved itself denied.

SnapSaved first made the world aware their servers had been hacked in a Facebook post on Saturday, stressing Snapchat was never compromised.

“As soon as we discovered the breach in our systems, we immediately deleted the entire website and the database associated with it,” SnapSaved said in a statement.

“As far as we can tell, the breach has affected 500MB of images, and 0 personal information from the database."

On Friday, however, a message on the bulletin board 4chan said that a site with up to 13 gigabytes of stolen content would go live on Sunday.

The hackers also claimed that the images had been indexed, which would have allowed hackers to access all of a person’s messages by entering their username.

SnapSaved immediately denied the hackers had the sophistication to pull off that feat.

“The recent rumors about the snappening are a hoax. The hacker does not have sufficient information to live up to his claims of creating a searchable Database,” SnapSaved said.

Snappening is a play on the portmanteau fappening, used by Reddit users to describe the massive celebrity nude photo leak last month.

The word combines the M. Night Shyamalan film titled ‘The Happening’ with the word fapping – internet slang for masturbation.

The FBI and Apple are currently investigating that hacking.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence (Reuters / Danny Moloshok)

Meanwhile, the exact nature of the SnapSaved content remains unclear, though users on Reddit have found pictures ranging from the pornographic to the mundane.

“…the quick sample size scans I did suggested maybe 50/50 male/female with LOADS of selfies, memes, pets, scenery, etc. You know, typical stuff you'd expect to see in a conversation between normal people. It's so painfully mundane,” Reddit user Lascivia wrote.

Another user did note, however, that pornographic content was definitely among the leaked material.

Depending on national law and age of consent, a downloader could be charged for violating child pornography laws if any of the people depicted in the files is under the age of majority.

Despite the fact that Snapchat’s key demographic is 13 to 23 year olds, SnapSaved said “they had always taken a firm stand against child pornography."

“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.”

Although the latest security breach does not fall on Snapchat’s shoulders, in January hackers uploaded account information from more than 4.6 million users by exploiting a weakness in the program.

The hackers said they were working to “raise public awareness on how reckless many internet companies are with user information.”