Snapchat photos are still stored on your iPhone

News 17:08, May 09 2013

Snapchat photos are supposed to disappear forever after viewing, but they don't

Snapchat gives a certain allure to those who want to share embarrassing or private photos. Once you send Snapchat photos, they disappear into the ether forever -- or at least, they're supposed to. The only way those photos make it into any kind of permanence is when someone takes a screen shot of the photo you sent them. But as it turns out, the photos are stored in your phone, or within the app, under a different file name. initially reported the discovery, which was made by Decipher Forensics. 

Ars Technica reports:

Utah-based Decipher Forensics claims that the photos take about six hours to extract, though most of that time is spent imaging the phone’s data. So far, Decipher has only managed to penetrate Android phones. The images reside in a folder on the recipient’s device named RECEIVED_IMAGES_SNAPS.

Once the files have been viewed within the time constraints of the app, the app affixes the extension .NOMEDIA to make it less readable. However, if the files are extracted and the extension is changed, the images are viewable once again.

The bottom line is it sounds like a real pain to get to the photos, anyway, but if you're a real stickler for security, it's good to know this sort of stuff, I guess. Ars was also careful to note that it's not any different than recovering deleted files from other apps. Perhaps this one is just noteworthy because we're all under the impression that those nudie pics you're sending to your ex are gone for good once viewing time is up. The only secure way of handling this whole thing is to not take and share photos at all. But where's the fun in that?

Are you a Snapchat user appalled by this discovery? Or do you not care and will you continue to send over inappropriate photos?

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