Snapchat – the latest sensation of the social networking created a generous amount of stir
in the world of social networking users and pundits alike- when in October 2014, Snapchat
was hacked by a group of hackers who made this Snapchat leak possible and released approx
100K ‘disappeared’ images of Snapchatters world-wide. Known as ‘The Snappening’ – this
incident again showed us the vulnerability of a social media application like Snapchat which
takes pride on the importance it gives to the privacy of the users. This hack also shocked as the
USP of Snapchat is – it’s built to satiate the needs of the teenagers who wish to send their friends
instant, funny, banal photos that will get deleted once the receiver watches them.
When parental control or supervision was increasing annoying for many youngsters in Facebook,
then Snapchat came as a boon for the ‘disappearing’ images of Snapchat don’t leave behind any
traces. In this scenario, a third-party website called SnapSaved.com appeared in 2013 which
claimed to give users the opportunity to store the seemingly ‘deleted’ photos of Snapchat.
Another mobile app called SnapSave surfaced in the same time with same function. When ‘The
Snappening’ took place, it revealed that these two third-party applications’ servers had been
breached by the hackers. It also put a question about the credibility of Snapchat, which so far,
was able to gather a huge user-base by ensuring total security and privacy of its users’ profiles.
My Bet Is They Are Fake
Why Snapchat photo leak can violate the US Federal law?
As the main age-group of Snapchatters is 14-18 years, the prime concern that clouded the
minds of many was- how many nude photos were there among the leaked ones? In US Federal
law, ‘The Snappening’ comes under severe invasion of private spaces, and if someday, the
offenders can be brought to court, their punishment can be prison-sentence as high as 20 years.
It’s is assumed that the web forum 4chan was the mastermind behind Snapchat image leak, as
this is the same group who leaked celebrity nude images like that of Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna
etc. by violating iCloud security code, just before ‘ The Snappening’ occurred.
What and user should do as the social media is becoming highly hacking-prone?
When the celebrity nude images leak happened, many question the rationality of saving one’s
nude images in computer or mobile phone by oneself, apart from blaming the hackers. Same
way, if the Snapchat leak raised the threat of child pornography, someone can put the onus of
this catastrophe on the users to a large extent for exchanging nude photos online; even if it’s for
as minuscule as for 10 seconds.
The few rational steps would be-
• No user should click any unknown link that comes with an e-mail or text message.
• If someone unknowingly downloads a file containing child pornography, deleting it and
then reporting to police would be the best way to tackle it.
Lastly, nobody should unzip or open any file in the virtual space that they don’t know about- as
the results are getting more severe these days.