Updated 09:55 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 30, 2020

Snapchat Hacking Scandal: "The Snappening," Hackers post 100,000 Intercepted Photos Online

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In the latest breach of cyber security, Internet and app users are once again reminded that the Internet is a hot bed of concrete, trapping deleted images and files. Hackers gained access to more than 100,000 Snapchat images that came from a third-party website. It is key to remember that the leak did not come from Snapchat, but rather a different website that allowed users to save their 'snaps' online. Users who signed up for this feature undoubtedly thought that the two companies were together, but they were not.

Snapchat has adamantly said that they scan app stores in an attempt to block out third party apps that connect with Snapchat, but are not apart of the company. The alleged database that was hacked could have possibly come from snapsaved.com, a site that offered 'snap saving' abilities.

The trouble arises when an oblivious user sees the word 'snap' and assumes that there must be some connection between the two companies. This is a false sentiment and could possibly end with their pictures being flooded to the Internet. The trustworthiness of a website or app should always be researched before a user signs up, or gives pertinent information.

Snapchat defended itself that the leak did not come from their servers in a statement released to the public. "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."

While leaked photos are always an invasion of privacy, the real legal matter enters the area when there are explicit pictures of users who are under the age of 18. There have already been reports that thousands of the photographs released feature both males and females from the 13-17 age range.

"Sexting" and other forms of provocative virtual behavior are unavoidable. Both minors and adults alike share these habits. While there is no clear solution or remedy to stop a hacker from taping a database, a user puts themselves at serious risk when they participate on an untrusted third-party app. It is essential that users do a minute or two of research before signing up for a website. A quick Google search or review will help quell all inquires about a seemingly tainted website.

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