4chan users have christened the event “The Snappening”, echoing last month’s release of nude celebrity photos, which came to be known as “The Fappening.” However commentators have questioned the legitimacy of the hack.

Hacked Snapchat Images To Be Released

Snapchat hacked: Who is responsible?

Speculation is rife that 200,000 self-destructing pictures and user IDs were accessed through the Snapsave Android app. The app allows users to save pictures and videos that they are sent, whereas Snapchat does not.

On the contrary Business Insider has claimed that the number of hacked photos is nearer 100,000, and that it was in fact Snapchat’s now defunct web client SnapSaved which was compromised.

Snapchat has come out and denied responsibility for the leak, blaming third-party applications.

“We can confirm that Snapchat’s servers were never breached and were not the source of these leaks. Snapchatters were victimized 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.”

Hacked or not?

Commentators have expressed doubts as to the veracity of the leak, with some even having claimed to have found the supposedly hacked images from other online sources. 4chan users have been wondering whether it is simply an attempt to damage the reputation of the site further, following the leak of nude celebrity photos.

Others have pointed out Snapchat’s historic security issues. A hacker released 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers in January 2014, allegedly to provoke a security review, and just a few weeks ago users complained that their accounts had been hacked by a weight-loss spam service.

If indeed the service has been hacked once more, there are concerns that some of the naked images could be of minors. In that case the publishing of the photos would constitute a sex crime, and the downloading of them would also be punishable by law.