Snapchat Hacked Pics of 200k Users Leaked in Snappening

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Snappening has Happened

Over 200,000 Snapchat accounts have been hacked, leaking hundreds and thousands of private photos and videos (many of which are explicit) on to the internet. This time the baddies didn’t go for celebrities. Instead, they chose to go for regular Snapchat users – like you and me.

BBC reported that half of Snapchat’s user base is made up of teens between the age of 13 and 17, which means that it is going to be a field day for cleanup crews (if any are launched) and Christmas for perverts and sickos!

The hackers who pulled off the hack first came forth on the widely acclaimed 4chan (an image-board website frequented by the good, the bad, and the ugly of the internet) and threatened to post thousands of images when a few of the images they posted were taken down from the website.

snapchat

 

Business Insider reported that the only reason behind the Hackers’ apparent pause is the fact that they are creating a searchable database to ensure 100% viral circulation of the looted images. Brace yourselves, winter is coming!

 

Snapchat Pleads Not Guilty

There are allegations that this may have happened because of excessive and uninhibited use of the Snapchat clone apps available for Android and iOS users.

 

Snapchat has chosen to plead not-guilty and has used its Terms of Use as a foothold to step out of the mess. Snapchat’s official response statement highlighted that the Snapchat Terms of Use instruct Snapchat users not to use any third party applications.

Check out Snapchat’s official response to the incident:

“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

Image: Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel

 

The Snappening Blame Game

It seems that there is a raging debate between Snapchat users, third-party Snapchat apps, and the original Snapchat. Each one of them is blaming the others over weak security protocols and practices.

Users argue that Snapchat should own up and protect its users’ privacy while Snapchat argues that the use of third-party apps in addition to Snapchat is illegal according to its terms of use. At the same time, third-party app developers argue that they are exonerated because they only provide the apps and all data storage takes place on the users’ mobile devices.

snapchat

Image: Snapchat and some of the third-party apps that either promise to help users get more from Snapchat or to provide the same service with additional features

 

There are countless third-party apps available online – varying from ‘Snapsave’ to ‘Snap Save’, and it is very hard to tell them apart. Snapsave’s director, Georgie Casey, gave a statement to Engadget in response to this photograph fiasco, stating that his app had nothing to do with it and they never logged username/passwords.

Another suspect in the mystery is ‘SnapSaved.com’ – yet another app that promises to help Snapchat users download images anonymously. SnapSaved.com is no longer online and the URL now redirects to an e-commerce website instead. The fact that some of the images posted online had overlaid messages in Danish is evidence that makes SnapSaved.com a prime suspect.

 

Snapchat: A Failing Photo Messaging Model

While the online privacy of another 200,000 users compromised, it is about time that the Snapchat model of photo messaging applications is abandoned.

This is not the first time that Snapchat has failed its users. Back in January 2014, Snapchat fell victim to an informed vulnerability in its API (code). A group of good guy hackers had already highlighted the weakness and the potential threat it posed to Snapchat users back in August 2013 but Snapchat implemented no measures to prevent a worst-case scenario.

Here is an excerpt from the official Snapchat Security Advisory release by Gibson Security, published on 27 August, 2013:

snapchat

Image: Excerpt from Gibson Security’s Snapchat Security Advisory release

Source: http://gibsonsec.org/snapchat/

 

That worst case scenario happened last Christmas when 4.6 million customer usernames and phone numbers were hacked and leaked online. Much like the Snappening, Snapchat denied everything.

 

Author’s Recommendation: Protect Yourself, because the internet Won’t!

The entire purpose behind designing Snapchat was to ensure online privacy through data deletion. The fact that users started to record it was the first mistake, and the fact that Snapchat took no measures to ensure the integrity of its purpose was the second mistake.

Your privacy is in your hands and all you need to do to take out some time to protect it. Follow the following tips and you’ll never have to worry about your integrity every time there is a leak.

App Permissions: Only use apps after verifying their authenticity. Read reviews, compare specifications, and examine access permissions. A flash-light app does not need access to your photo gallery.

Cloud: Avoid storing your information on any Cloud platform. Always remember the Fappening!

The Universal Truth: Avoid posting any sensitive material on social media, regardless of the Privacy Settings. If a human can code it, a human can crack it! Nothing is safe!

Use WiFi HotSpot Protection: Always use a VPN when using any public WiFi hotspots. Hackers love to hack WiFi routers and collect data. It saves them the trouble of hacking individual users’ devices.

Here is a list of the top rated VPN service providers that help ensure online anonymity:

Rankprovideras low asFeaturesvisit
1$6.49
per month
  • PPTP, L2TP/IPSec & OpenVPN protocols
  • Over 14,000+ IPs & 139+ servers in 60+ countries
  • 2 Multi login
  • 7-Day Money Back Guarantee
Visit SiteRead Review
2$4.16
per month
  • PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN & IKEv2 protocols
  • Over 55,000+IPs & 350+ servers in 59+ countries
  • 5 Multi Logins
  • 3-Day Money Back Guarantee
Visit SiteRead Review
3$8.32
per month
  • OpenVPN TCP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP and PPTP protocols
  • 72+ Servers in 46 countries
  • 2 Multi Logins
  • 30 day money back guarantee
Visit SiteRead Review
4$4.16
per month
  • PPTP, L2TP/IPSec & OpenVPN protocols
  • 53+ servers in 36+ countries
  • Multi login
  • 7-Day Money Back Guarantee
Visit SiteRead Review
5$6.55
per month
  • PPTP, L2TP & OpenVPN protocols
  • Over 85,763+ IPs & 678+ servers in 91+ countries
  • 2 Multi logins
  • 30 day money back guarantee
Visit Site
Read Review

Related Articles

Danish Pervez

Danish Pervez

Author

Danish Pervez's Biography :


When the world sleeps, Danish Pervez is online researching consumer preferences and identifying next-gen trend waves. Experience in IT, combined with his diverse expertise in marketing and research - both traditional and digital - gives him an insight well worth reading and sharing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *