Prepare yourself for “The Snappening.”

A huge database of Snapchat photos and videos maintained by a third party has been hacked, and many years’ worth of files are being distributed on 4chan. Users have dubbed it “The Snappening,” and 13 GB-worth of files (many of them explicit) are now available for anyone to view.

The BBC points out that about half of Snapchat’s users are between the ages of 13 and 17, so there is justifiable concern that many of the leaked photos and videos will be of minors. It’s also important to note that the leak did not come from Snapchat itself; the company pointed out in a statement that:

“Snapchatters were victimised 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.”

The hack allows people to search the database by username, and appears likely to have emanated from the app SnapSaved (which no longer exists). It’s unclear if there will be more celebrities affected by this leak, but it serves as yet another cautionary tale about taking or sending any kind of compromising photograph on your phone.


[via Business Insider]