Less than one week after Jennifer Lawrence broke
her silence over stolen nude pics, a shocking new
breach of privacy is making headlines.
Approximately 200,000 private photos from the
popular photo-messaging app Snapchat have been
reportedly stolen and leaked online. Business
Insider reports that the photos, which users
believed had been deleted, began popping up on the
Internet message board 4chan–the same forum
where the celebrity nude photos were first
distributed–on Thursday night.
As multiple reports stated, it’s very possible that
some of the stolen images belong to underage
victims since 50 percent of Snapchat’s users are
between the ages of 13 and 17. The app, which
allows users to send photos or video to friends that
disappear less than 10 seconds after they are
received, is popular for sending racy pics, which
could potential create a whole new string of legal
troubles if the underage shots were leaked.
Business Insider also reports that the hackers had
been collecting the photos for years (Snapchat first
launched in July 2011) and gained access to the
images by way of a third-party app which provided
the hackers with access to a 13GB library of
Snapchats that users thought had been deleted.
Snapchat has since denied that the app’s security
is to blame and is instead pointing the finger at one
of the many third-party applications that allow
users to save Snapchat pics and video without the
“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,” a
company spokeswoman said in a statement,
obtained by The Huffington Post.
The hack comes less than six weeks after dozens
of celebs, including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate
Upton, had private photos stolen and distributed
online. The incident, which has been dubbed The
Fappening, caused Apple, as well as the FBI to
launch an investigation into the violation of several
of iCloud accounts.
Users of the message board 4chan are referring to
the most recent nude photo leak as The
Snappening, highlighting the similarities between
the two scandalous events.