Snapsaved is willing to talk all about getting hacked, as long as you pay them for it.
If you run a third-party site that was just accused of allowing thousands of private videos—some of them likely to be child porn—to be hacked from your server, do you A) fess up and apologize, B) go into hiding and let the thing blow over, or C) demand Bitcoin in exchange for interviews about how you fucked up?
If you answered both A and C, you may be whoever runs Snapsaved.com, a now-defunct service that let users save copies of their snaps on its online database that has admitted to being involved in "the Snappening," a leak of somewhere between 500 MB and 13 GB of personal Snapchats.
This weekend, someone operating the now defunct site's Facebook noted that Snapsaved.com had indeed been hacked, with at least 500 megabytes-worth of files being taken—that seems to line up with the files contained in a torrent we downloaded.
In any case, we reached out to Snapsaved on Facebook to request an interview, and whoever administers the Facebook account said yes—if we paid up.
"Lately a lot of news agencies have written to us about interviews," the message said. "So we can give you an interview, but we would like to know if you could offer any monetary reward for the interview, this would be via bit coins or the like."
Pressed for more information, the Snapsaved admin said the company believes authorities are investigating the site, or at least the hackers who breached it. The administrator also said that the company still has an encrypted database of photos: "The database has not been leaked, and it maps all the images that we unfortunately have had hacked," the person told me.
It's still not entirely clear what has gone down here. Most people out there who are actively looking for this thing are convinced that there's about 13 gigs worth of leaked snaps out there; we've only been able to find a fraction of that, and pervs out there are getting increasingly frustrated that the vast majority of it isn't readily available.
In a separate interview with the person operating TheSnappening subreddit, I learned that those who are following this saga closely are just as confused as everyone else.
"The only interest I have in the leaks is to follow the drama surrounding it," he said. "I don't think I can take the moral high ground and say I'm not contributing. I administrate a place where images will be shared, and I know that illegal content will be shared here, no matter how hard I moderate."
An anonymous, but widely circulated letter suggested that Snapsaved itself made the files available, a claim that initially spurred Snapsaved to make its initial Facebook post:
"Over the last few days, content has been leaked from a site called Snapsaved.com. The content released from this site was provided to us by the administrator of the site. Users could freely browse all media on this website, and view as per user account," the note said. "When the site became unusable, the administrator compiled a full directory of the content and uploaded it to an un-indexed website where you could freely download it."
That's a claim Snapsaved has denied, but the group is now actively seeking to profit off of getting hacked. Motherboard won't be paying for an interview and, when I asked if he (or she) felt like it was kind of dickish to try to further profit off of being hacked, well, he said his time is valuable.
"My time is finite," he said. "If you wish further elaboration on the topic, we can give you that, but we are very busy at the moment."
Part of that may be because he's is trying to clean up the mess Snapsaved has made.