Hackers on Sunday posted photos and videos of Snapchat users, some of them underage, following through with a threat issued on Friday.
Roughly 13 gigabytes worth of pictures and videos from a site called Snapsaved.com were posted onto a 4chan discussion forum, according to UK publication The Guardian. How many of these photos might have been explicit and how many were of underage users is unclear. But the hackers who posted the images may have been the same ones responsible for posting nude photos of such celebrities as Jennifer Lawrence through the 4chan system this summer.
By default, Snapchat deletes your photos and videos after they are viewed by the receiving party. But in the past some users employed an app called SnapSave and a now-shuttered website named Snapsaved to let fellow Snapchatters read messages outside of the Snapchat app. That very action may have come back to haunt them.
In a statement released Saturday on Facebook, the people behind Snapsaved said the site had been hacked.
Warnings appeared on 4chan on Friday that the hacked photos would be leaked, The Guardian said. And on Sunday, around 13 gigabytes of the hacked Snapchat content were reportedly posted in an event called "The Snappening."
But there is a question over what the files actually revealed. People who downloaded the images said they contained a large amount of child pornography, according to The Telegraph. But one Reddit user cited by The Guardian said the "'The Snappening' did not live up to its billing." Most of the files were "low resolution garbage," claimed the user. However, he did say there were around 100 megabytes of nude photos and videos.
Snapsaved also explained the hack into its system and attempted to downplay the so-called "Snappening."
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 500MB of images, and of personal information from the database. 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. Our users had to consent to all the content they received via SnapSaved.com, as we mentioned, we tried to cleanse the database of inappropriate images as often as possible.
However, Snapsaved issued its statement on Saturday, while the Snappening itself occurred on Sunday.
A spokeswoman for Snapchat told CNET that the company does not share its user numbers externally.
"We also have no idea about how many users use third-party apps but we strongly recommend they don't and we work very hard to get them removed from the iTunes App Store and Google Play as they crop up," the spokeswoman added.