The Snappening: Thousands of teens' snapchat photos leaked
TENS of thousands of Snapchat images and videos taken by ordinary teenagers have been released online after being stored by a third party website.
Despite suggestions the leak, dubbed 'The Snappening', might be a hoax The Daily Beast confirmed the photographs had been leaked online via viralpop.com, with the file containing the material downloaded thousands of times before the bogus website was deleted.
Snapchat claims around 50 per cent of its users are between 13 and 17 years old, meaning this latest leak potentially includes images which classed as child pornography.
It is estimated approximately 90,000 photographs and 9,000 videos were leaked through a third-party app, with many of the images originating from Europeans who account for 32 per cent of Snapchat's customers.
There are fears that the alleged leak could have involved hacking of popular third-party android app Snapsave which collects Snapchat photos and videos. Snapsave allowed users to save sent and received images on their desktops, which would otherwise be automatically deleted when sent through the official Snapchat app.
Snapsave representative Georgie Casey said to Engadget: "Our app had nothing to do with it and we've never logged username/passwords." He also said Snapsave doesn't run on a cloud setup.
Similarly named website Snapsaved is another possible source of the leak. Over the weekend the website - which mimicked the original app and allowed users to save images permanently - issued a statement: "I would like to inform the public that snapsaved.com was hacked, the dictionary index the poster is referring to, was never publicly available."
Unlike the celebrity nude photograph leak, which saw a slew of prominent female stars' intimate pictures released online via 4chan, The Snappening images appear to be equally mixed.
It is suspected those responsible for the hacking the celebrities may have also had a hand in this latest photograph leak, as both leaks began in discussion on a 4chan discussion forum with users warned on Friday that the photos would be leaked.
A Reddit user over the weekend claimed to have downloaded the leaked files, writing: "The Snapping is 13GB of low resolution garbage."
The user claimed that many of the images were of a "mundane" nature and were not explicit. They also noted the leaked images they had downloaded were not searchable - unlike the original leak from viralpop.com.
Snapchat has continuously denied responsibility for the leak, issuing a statement claiming: "We can confirm that Snapchat's servers were never breached and were not the source of these leaks.