Hackers stole 100,000-200,000 Snapchat photos; will post them online

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DENVER -- Some say it’s bigger than the iCloud hacking that exposed naked pictures of celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst.

This time, the targets are everyday people--in particular, teenagers.

Hackers have intercepted a giant cache of Snapchat photos and videos and they're expected to leak them online next week.

Computer experts say about 200,000 private photos sent using Snapchat were getting passed around an anonymous internet message board 4Chan.

And it's likely many of the compromised photos belong to younger people.

About half of Snapchat users are aged 13 to 17.

Erin Daidone, 10, snaps a goofy picture of herself that she sends to her older sister Camryn using Snapchat.

"I like Snapchat a lot actually. It's really fun because it super quick and easy," says Camryn, 15.

The app allows users to snap and send photos that only last from one to 10 seconds before they disappear.

"You're not supposed to see it after that. So if you send an ugly picture of yourself, no one can see it for that long. So it's a good thing," she says.

But now, Snapchat pictures could last an eternity.

For years, hackers have been collecting user photos sent through third-party apps that let users save those pictures on their phone.

The source of the leak is still unclear, but some media outlets report hackers got the images through third-party app, Snapsave.

"When you breach a service that's intended to provide confidentiality, that's where it's significant, in what it could do to hundreds of thousands of people's reputations," says cyber security expert Steve Fox with Security Pursuit.

Those intercepted photos were then released online on 4Chan, downloaded by its users who are now creating a searchable database that will allow people to search the stolen pictures by Snapchat username.

Fox says this breach is a teachable moment for families.

"It's a reminder that the internet is not an anonymous place, that you need to think about what you're posting, what you're emailing," he says.

It's a lesson Camryn and Erin's dad, Frank, taught them long ago.

He’s not sweating it.

"Is there going to be picture of our dog out there maybe, one of them making funny faces? That's probably going to be about it," he says.

"Yeah, we're good. I promise," chuckles Camryn.

Snapchat says its servers were never breached--that users were victimized by using third-party apps to save pictures.

But what's scary is it doesn't matter if you don't have one of those apps on your phone It only matters if the person you sent pictures to has one.

The hacked photos may by leaked as early as Oct. 12 on message boards like 4Chan.


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