Explicit images, which are believed to be sent using messaging service Snapchat, have reportedly been put online by hackers. In addition, these hackers have also warned to upload more such images.
According to Snapchat, this problem is bothering only users who have got access to its service through a 3rd-party app instead of the official Snapchat application, and added that none of its servers ever got breached. As almost 50% of the users of this messaging service are between the ages of 13 and 17, the majority of the users affected by leaking of explicit images might be children. This is, however, a matter of great concern for the company.
Snapchat keeps on monitoring the Google Play and App Store vigilantly for illegal 3rd-party apps and to date has detected and removed quite a few of them successfully.
Security researchers, however, still want Snapchat to act more responsibly to protect its users’ data. Mark James of IT security firm ESET said that the messaging service wasn’t right in holding users completely responsible for the incident.
James added that people at Snapchat are trying to make users believe that the messaging service is safe, but the fact is that they must take necessary steps to make the app safe; according to James, Snapchat must do something to stop hackers from accessing users’ data.
Reports suggest that on Thursday night hackers uploaded the images on the Internet; every images uploaded was accompanied by a download link. Currently, the download isn’t online anymore; however, hackers have threatened that they will again be posting thousands of such images online.
While the majority of the people aware of this image leak are deeply concerned, there are also many who have doubts about the authenticity of the photos and are suggesting that a large share of the leaked pictures are fake.
However, there are also reasons to believe that the leaked photos are all authentic. According to a recent report, hackers involved in the Snapchat leak-gate have said that they have access to as much as 13GB worth of photos, which have been caught over a period of several years.
A couple of unauthorised 3rd-party services have been identified as the source of these leaks. These are services that allowed users to save messages received through Snapchat permanently. According to experts, one or more such services were maintaining a database of videos and photos passing through them. Hackers getting access to those services, thus, also got hold of their database that was loaded with videos and images of Snapchat users.