The Snappening is happening and 13GB of Snapchat pictures have now been leaked on-line. The images appear to have been skimmed from the aligned, 3rd party website although investigations and denials are still being batted back and forth.

Snapchat themselves have flatly denied that any leak of images could have come from them - Snapchat has been designed on the premise that any images sent are transient and unlike previous vulnerabilities reported in Snapchat this time Snapchat are absolving themselves of any blame. Attention has then turned to aligned 3rd party apps such as Snapsave which allows users to save Snapchat originated images, although again, the makers of the Snapsave app have also denied any blame for the leaked photos.

It all serves to provide another damaging blow to the credibility of any 3rd party personally identifiable information and in the public eye, just as with the recent Apple iCloud photo theft, the association will be made that 3rd parties cannot be trusted to safeguard our data.

In the case of the iCloud breach, Apple also denied any culpability, suggesting instead that this was a more straightforward hijacking of user credentials. In other words, the Apple explanation is that usernames and passwords were either guessed, brute forced, or another source of stolen username and password combinations was simply applied to iCloud. Given that most users still use simple passwords and/or the same username and password for all websites this is a credible theory.

Perhaps the main takeaway from The Snappening is that a good password policy needs to become second nature for all of us, not just when imposed as part of a governance, regulatory or compliance initiative policy.


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