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A Massive Hack Of Snapchat Photos Could Leak Thousands Of Photos, Many Containing Nudity

Some photos may legally constitute child pornography due to the age of the Snapchat users' whose photos were compromised.

First Jennifer Lawrence is involved in a nude photo leak, and now this: Another massive photo hack appears to be underway, and it involves -- you guessed it -- Snapchat. And it's apparently bigger than the iCloud hack that resulted in Lawrence and other celebs' intimate images leaking to the world.

Business Insider writes that The Snappening, dubbed such by 4chan users, involves the kind of shady individuals who've reportedly tapped into the database of a third-party service called SnapSaved. SnapSaved allows users to keep the ephemeral photos and videos they receive on the service -- you know, the ones that are supposed to self-destruct seconds after receipt. So 4chan users then scooped up the files and began creating a searchable database of private images and videos. So, Snapchat wasn't hacked, but a third-party storage site was.

Related: One Woman Tells Us What It Really Feels Like When Your Nude Photos Leak Online

A fake viral competition site, viralpop.com, was reportedly hosting those files, but it has since been taken offline -- still, that didn't stop thousands of people from snatching up the images before the site was nixed. Those images have not appeared online yet, though, but Engadget reports that they may leak on Sunday.

Snapchat's userbase is 50 percent teens between ages 13 and 17, and 4chan users say that many of the images amount to child pornography, which is illegal for anyone to view with intent.

Snapchat, for their part, deny any responsibility in the leak, stating that they were not compromised by the hack. In a statement to Business Insider, they said:

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.

This is yet another reminder that as long as hackers continue practicing the dark art of invading privacy, photos you take on your phone may never be 100 percent safe, so be careful.

For information and resources on how to prevent -- or deal with -- a hack, read more at A Thin Line.