After thousands of Snapchat photos were leaked last Friday, with much confusion as to the origin of the hacks, some clarity has emerged as to what actually happened.
As we noted in our original post, Snapchat’s servers themselves were not hacked. Instead, the company was quick to point out users were affected choosing to use third-party apps use for saving Snapchat photos.
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There was then confusion about which service was actually the source of the leaked photos,, with reports pointing to both an app called Snapsave, and the website ‘snapsaved.com’ (which now only shows a blank page). Later that day, however, Snapsave creator Georgie Casie denied that his service was ever affected, while also stating that its users’ data isn’t saved on the cloud.
That just left snapsaved.com, and today, the creators of the website admitted to the hack in a Facebook post. They claim to the best of their knowledge only 500MB of images was collected (which can still be quite a few photos depending on stored size and resolution) and that they’ve “always tried to fight child pornography,” even reporting some of their users to relevant authorities.
The creators also say they deleted the entire website and database after learning of the leak, explaining why the URL only points to a blank page now. “We did not wish to cause SnapChat or their users any harm, we only wished to provide a unique service,” they ended the statement.
That’s a bit of a dubious thing to say for a service that was meant to sneakily save photos without the sender ever knowing, bypassing the expectation many Snapchat users have of being alerted when their images are stored.
Still, these leaks bring to light some fundamental risks when using Snapchat; it’ll be interesting to see if the company implements any changes to make its service less vulnerable to manipulation by third parties.