Thousands of Snapchat users may have had their photos compromised, and a collection of nude snaps—including, allegedly, photos of underage users—have been leaked to 4chan and elsewhere. The hack, which Snapchat acknowledged today, is being called "the Snappening."

Snapchat wouldn't say how many users were affected, but the company was quick to deny any responsibility for the leak. Here's Snapchat's statement to VentureBeat:

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.

The entire premise of Snapchat is that snaps are automatically deleted after viewing, but there are dozens of ways to save copies of the photos before they self-destruct. In this case, hackers apparently found a weakness in a third-party web version of Snapchat web called Snapsaved (not to be confused with the popular Snapsave Android app) and used it to collect 13 gigs of private photos. There are supposedly 200,000 snaps in all, although it's not yet clear how many of them are nudes.

The site originally hosting the files is now offline, according to Business Insider, but 4chan users have downloaded copies and are working on reuploading them and making them searchable by Snapchat username.

According to a 4chan thread originally pointed out by a blogger named Kenny Withers, the full collection of images hasn't been released yet, but could be up as soon as tonight. Withers also uploaded some of the "PG-13" snaps that have already been circulating on 4chan, which appear to have come mostly from Snapchat users in Europe.

It hasn't been confirmed that the leak contains child pornography, but Snapchat says half of its users are young teens.

[H/T VentureBeat, Photo: 4chan via Kenny Withers]