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Snapchat hackers leak thousands of explicit teen pictures

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Hackers targetting third-party Snapchat apps and websites post 13.6GB file containing approximately 100,000 images and videos

Thousands of images and videos sent through mobile messaging app Snapchat have been leaked online by hackers. Approximately 90,000 images and 9,000 videos, many of them reportedly nude pictures of teenagers, are included in a 13.6GB file being shared online.

People accessing Snapchat through third-party apps and not the official Snapchat app had their images stolen. Snapchat has said its servers “were never breached” with other apps linked to Snapchat being targeted by hackers.

Half of Snapchat users are aged between 13 and 17 with many of the images stolen by hackers reportedly sexually explicit. In a statement Snapchat said that the use of third-party apps to send and receive messages was prohibited by its terms of use.

“We vigilantly monitor the App Store and Google Play for illegal third-party apps and have succeeded in getting many of these removed,” a spokesperson said.

Hackers are apparently creating a searchable database of the stolen images and videos with thousands of people already downloading the files. There are conflicting reports as to where the images were stolen from, with both the Snapsave Android app and website both being mentioned on message boards discussing the hack.

It is likely that hackers have been collecting Snapchat images for some time. Users of the 4chan online forum say the collection of photos includes a large amount of child pornography.

The hack, which has been dubbed ‘The snappening’, is the latest in a string of damaging privacy breaches on Snapchat. At the start of this year 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers of Snapchat users were leaked online. The service has also been used to send out spam messages to millions of accounts without consent.

The attack comes after a similar but unrelated breach of Apple’s iCloud service. Hundreds of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Rihanna were targeted by hackers who then posted nude photos online. Lawrence recently said that the attack was not only a scandal but a “sex crime”.

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