Do you use Snapchat? Hackers have exposed 100,000 images on 4Chan

Remember that photo you sent through Snapchat that supposedly vanished seconds after being viewed. Well, apparently it didn't vanish. Oops.

A huge trove of Snapchat images and videos were reportedly exposed online on Friday.

People who used third-party apps instead of the official application had copies of supposedly transient missives squirrelled away by hackers.

(In case you didn't know, Snapchat is a mobile phone messaging application that allows users to send photos and videos that disappear in seconds.)

At least 100,000 Snapchat photos have been collected by hackers, according to a report on the Business Insider blog​.

Users of the online forum 4Chan have been downloading the files and are creating a searchable database of the stolen photos, the report said.

Child pornography

About half of Snapchat users are reported to be 17 years old or younger, raising worries that sexy self-shot images they thought would disappear will be shared on the Internet in what would amount to child pornography.

Snapchat released a statement on Friday saying the startup's servers were not breached, nor were they the source of the leaked images.

The San Francisco-based company maintained that “Snapchatters were victimised" due to the use of outside applications to send or receive “Snaps” in a practice prohibited under the company’s terms of service.


The possibility remains that the entire incident is a hoax.

Tal Klein, a vice president at cloud security firm Adallom, said some of the purported Snapchat photos posted on 4Chan had digital signatures that matched his firm’s database of stolen images previously circulated online.

That suggests the episode could be fictitious, or that the supposed cache of new photos was a collection of previously stolen Snapchat images aggregated by hackers, said Klein.

The release of private Snapchat photos​ comes shortly after nude pictures of​ dozen of actresses were hacked from Apple's iCloud accounts and posted on 4Chan.

Sources: AFP, Reuters