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Snappening: Hacker’s Database of deleted Snapchat Images

There are many policies and reforms that govern the internet world. Like Sarbanes Oxley Act

(SOX) which applies to all the US firms to remove accounting related glitches from company

reforms, HIPPA to protect health records of the patients and PCI DSS which applies to all the

companies which are doing credit/debit transaction. The main goal of this act is to protect end-
user’s information and to reduce fraudulent activities. But still there is no act in particular which

applies to social networking or content sharing applications which consists of user’s personal

images and videos. And with the increase in the security breaches there is immense necessity to

introduce reforms which applies to social media content.

Deleted Snapchat Images Hacked

Recently, nearly 13GB of Snapchatpictures which have been deleted over the years from its

subscriber has released by the hackers who have been collecting these files from years. This act

of hack was named as ‘Snappening’. All these Snapchat pictures were posted online in website

called viralpop.com, which intentionally installs malware on computer of the user who tries to

download images from this site. Users were lured to visit this site and made them to download

these images so that malware can be installed into their system and later they can gain privileges

to command and control the system and its resources. Later they can also infiltrate to collect

more images via backdoor.
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Third-Party Tools Interception: Source of Images Have Been Collected By Hackers

As soon as the news were out that tons and lacs of Snapchat images have been hacked& leaked,

Snapchat used log integration tools closely linked with its security systems to backtrack access

to their server and came to conclusion that they were not hacked and there servers were not

infiltrated for these images, but also accepted that these images were part of their database.

Snapchat blamed third party tools for the hack of these images and released a statement that

people should prohibit use of these applications. After snapchat leak, they started working on

improving their security mechanisms and introduced encryption so that the photos and videos

aren’t readable to the hacker even if he intercepts that.

4chan users claimed that snapchat leak images contains several images of celebrities mostly

nude and also consisted images of child-pornography as most of the users of snapchat was

teens in age range of 13 to 17.There were two probable sites which were predicted to be hacked

by hackers to gain these images i.e. Snapsave and Snapsaved. Both are the third party tools to

capture the snapchat videos and images, to save them in the device. Hackers intercepted the

traffic that these apps used to send and store images in their server. After interception they stored

these images on their own server and later made them publicly available. 4chan users claim that

snapsaved was the source of these leaked images as hacker maliciously utilized their Apache

server misconfiguration to gain sniffing access.

Snapchat with its emergence was involved in many security breaches like leaking usernames and

their corresponding phone numbers, letting hackers sending malicious contents via this app etc.

so end-user need to aware of its usage and be responsible for its proper use.

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