“The Snappening,” as dubbed by users of the notorious chat forum 4chan, is far bigger and worse than the iCloud hacks that recently targeted celebrities, Snapchat users say. A giant database of intercepted Snapchat photos and videos were released by hackers who have allegedly been collecting the files for years, reports Business Insider.
Underground photo-trading chat rooms have been filled in recent weeks with subtle clues that something big was in the works. Thursday night is finally came to fruition; a third-party Snapchat client app has been collecting every single photo and video file sent through it for years, providing hackers access to a 13GB library of Snapchats that users thought were deleted and spawning “The Snappening.”
Users of 4chan have downloaded the files and are creating a searchable database that will allow people to search for the stolen images by Snapchat usernames.
The database of Snapchat files posted online was hosted by viralpop.com, a fake competition website that instead installed malicious software on the computers trying to take part. The site has now been suspended and taken offline, although thousands of people have already successfully downloaded the collection of Snapchats.
Reports suggest the hacked third-party Snapchat client was Snapsave. The popular Android app allowed users to keep Snapchat photos and videos after sending, which typically delete when viewed through the official Snapchat application.
In a statement to Engadget, Snapsave developer Georgie Casey denied his app was to blame for the leaked photos, saying “Our app had nothing to do with it and we’ve never logged username/passwords.” Casey also denied that Snapsave has the ability to store photos online.
Snapsave disappeared several months ago, with a URL that now redirects to a Danish e-commerce site that sells set-top boxes and TV antennas. Most of the intercepted Snapchat photos posed online featured overlaid messages in Danish. Snapchat’s history of securing users’ data has largely been criticized. In 2013, security researchers revealed it was possible to find the phone number of any Snapchat user through the app. The company in turn apologized after 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers leaked online New Year’s Day. In February 2014, hackers used Snapchat to send photos of fruit smoothies to thousands of people, spamming their accounts.
‘The Snappening': Bigger, Worse Than Celebrity iCloud Hacks Users Say