Snapchat users were alarmed when news about the numerous Snapchat photos were uploaded in the website 4chan. It is estimated that the photos are around 10,000. This hacking incident is now dubbed as the “Snappening”.
Snapchat has acknowledged the situation, but the app developers insisted that their own servers were not hacked. This means that the app itself was not hacked but the accounts of Snapchat users. The company has also implemented additional security measures like encryption because of the vulnerabilities discovered by Gibson Security before. These vulnerabilities were made public hence Snapchat’s action to implement a tighter security feature.
Due to these factors, Snapchat disclosed that the reason for this hacking is due to third party applications like Snapsave or SnapSaved that users utilize for saving their conversations. There are rumors suggesting that the servers of these third party applications were hacked.
The use of third party applications is not encouraged by Snapchat which is the reason why the company is constantly monitoring the App Store and Google Play for such apps. Users are not encouraged to download this type of app because of the security threats and vulnerabilities that it contains.
Despite these precautions, users can still find a way to download and install it. In return, Snapchat places the responsibility of this hacking to customers as they are aware that this is not encouraged by Snapchat. Phil Neray, the VP of enterprise security strategy at app security firm Veracode, remarked that “users shouldn’t have used an unofficial app that was attempting to bypass the intention of Snapchat. It’s like using a jailbroken phone.”
This attack came after the “Fappening” incident where iCloud celebrity photos were leaked at the same website, 4chan. Web and mobile apps are prone to security threats and vulnerabilities thus encouraging users to be precautious even if security measures from companies are already in place.