If it feels as if people are actively looking for all the chinks in Snapchat's armor, that's because they are. In December of last year, BuzzFeed discovered a way to find videos sent to you through the app after the set time limit. Now a man has found a way to view photos sent to users with Android phones after they have disappeared from the app.
According to a digital forensics examiner named Richard Hickman, the app best known for its ephemeral nature does not really delete the photos users are sent: they are merely stored away in a file folder that's not easily accessible called "RECEIVED_IMAGES_SNAPS." (Image 2).
In an interview with KSL.com Hickman, who discovered the flaw while taking a forensics course at Utah Valley University, said that the photos are not deleted, they're just not "mapped anymore." He continued: "It says, OK, that spot where that picture was stored is now available to be overwritten. That's what would happen with a regular camera."
When pressed about this flaw, Snapchat reiterated that the photos are never saved on the company's servers, and that Snaps are "deleted from our servers after they have been viewed by the recipient."
Hickman is currently working to find the same weak spot on iPhones.
If you're an Android user and would like to figure out how to find photos you once thought deleted, read Hickman's full breakdown here. However, keep in mind, it took Hickman six hours to find a single photo.