Some of Snapchat's source code was leaked and posted online — here's what happened

  • Snapchat likely made a mistake when updating its iOS app in May, because some of the company’s source code was obtained and leaked to GitHub, a hosting website for coders.
  • The leaked data appeared to only include a small amount of code related to some of Snapchat’s camera functions, like Shazam compatibility and hands-free recording.
  • Snapchat quickly filed a DMCA takedown request, and GitHub, now owned by Microsoft, complied.
  • The code was shared and downloaded, however, and the code can still be found online.

Snapchat filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown request in all-caps after some of its source code was leaked and uploaded to GitHub, a website primarily used for hosting code.

Snapchat likely made a mistake during an update for the iOS version of the app in May, and someone was able to obtain a small amount of the app’s source code. However, Snapchat said that no user data or personal information was compromised.

The code, which mostly pertains to Snapchat camera and lens functions like Shazam compatibility and hands-free recording, was posted and available on GitHub for a short time before GitHub complied with the takedown request, although the code was quickly downloaded and shared before Snapchat could completely plug the leak.

Some Twitter users asked for mirrors, or other versions, of the code after it was removed from GitHub.

Twitter user @x0rz noted that the file size of the code was only 2 MB – hardly a huge leak by any means. However, Snapchat certainly didn’t appear to be happy about the code’s journey around the internet, and strangely filed its takedown request in all capital letters.

“NO, THIS SHOULD BE REMOVED BECAUSE IT IS ALL LEAKED SOURCE CODE,” a Snap employee said in the takedown request, when asked if there were any changes the uploader could make instead of removing the code.

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