100,000 Snapchat messages leaked online
It’s not only celebrities who are vulnerable to having their intimate selfies leaked online, it seems.
90,000 photos and 10,000 videos from Snapchat have been leaked and are now doing the rounds on on 4chan and Reddit, according to The Daily Beast.
The app is pitched as a secure way of sending photos and videos by smartphone, as they’re supposed to “self destruct” between ten seconds and a minute after they’ve been viewed.
However, the security of the system was questioned in January when 4.6 million users’ phone numbers were leaked online after the platform was hacked.
It was breached again in February, when hackers sent photos of smoothies to thousands of people.
On this occasion, Snapchat has denied its servers were breached, and has instead blamed it on the use of insecure third-party apps. Most of the photos were from European users.
While the company hasn’t named any names, an “anonymous photo trader” told Business Insider that a website named SnapSaved was the source of the leak.
The site, which has since been taken offline, allowed people to covertly save images sent through Snapchat by handing over their login details.
Only half the story
While 100,000 photos and videos is a sizable leak, it’s only half what the hacker originally claimed to have, and there’s no word on where the other 100,000 might be – if indeed they exist at all.
Despite Snapchat’s reputation as a medium for young people to send explicit photos to each other, it would seem most of the photos in the leak are rather mundane.
According to The Independent, Reddit and 4chan commenters have said the 13GB file mainly contains photos of people going about their daily business, such as walking to school, showing off their new haircut, or cooking food.
That’s not to say no intimate photos were leaked. According to 4chan and Reddit users, about 100MB of the file is “actual nudes”.
These nudes could pose a big legal problem to anyone downloading the file though, as about half of all Snapchat users are aged 13-17. This means any explicit images contained could well be classified as indecent images of a child and possession of such images can carry a jail sentence of up to ten years in the UK.