Smartphone applications bring in additional features and functionality to our lives. These applications are of high value because of their usefulness and innovation. Like Whatsapp, which was acquired for $22 billion, there are many kinds of applications people use regularly. Snapchat, an image-sharing application, witnessed private information leak today that is more than 100,000 photos were being leaked by hackers. The image library posted on 4Chan forum consists of more than 13GB of Snapchat photos as well as nude images.
Snaps means an image of a video that is shared via this application. As of 2014, Snapchat had more than one billion snap views per day. Hackers are extremely active these days, recently it happened with Jennifer Lawrence also. These groups are targeting nude images and releasing them online to create havoc among the users.
The so called breach is being referred to as Snappening. As weird as it sounds, there is no way a Snapchat image can be saved as the snaps are destroyed after the viewing period is over. Generally, this viewing period is up to 10 seconds, after which the content is hidden and consequently deleted from the servers.
The third party applications are to be blamed for this as Snapchatters really believed that the data gets deleted from the application servers. Several applications are available in the app store and play store that can save the data from Snapchat’s API. The security researchers have warned the company about this few years back also.
In an emailed statement, the company has mentioned as
This leak consisting of nude images on a public forum happened because of their sheer neglect towards the problem. The defamed users who shared pornographic content via snaps will face problems. The application might lose a considerable number of users as well because of privacy concerns.
Tal Klevin, vice president of Adallom, a cloud security firm has noted few images on 4Chan has same signatures, similar to the firm’s database of stolen images. Similar to iCloud hack, Snapchat has been hacked for the user’s images, which are considered as private ones.
In December 2013, Gibsonsec published the way to hack the Snapchat database in its website and later, Snapchat released the statement that it had already taken the “countermeasures” for those vulnerabilities. Then, in the few days gap, the messenger’s user database with the usernames and associated phone numbers were released by hackers, which enabled to download the database as an SQL dump or CSV file.