A portion of Snapchat’s source code was leaked and hosted on the code repository platform GitHub (recently acquired by Microsoft) before a copyright takedown request from Snap led the company to remove the offending leak.
The leak occurred after a botched update to the company’s Snapchat iOS app in May. While the leak itself was quickly rectified, and no company or user data was compromised, a bit of company source code ended up on GitHub, which led to Snap filing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown request.
Twitter user x0rz, a security researcher, tweeted about the removed source code and linked to the takedown request made by a Snap employee. The takedown request includes a number of questions the requester must address. Nearly every answer is written entirely in capital letters, save for the two responses requiring the submitter of the DMCA request, whose name is redacted, to copy and paste a provided statement.
“Please provide a detailed description of the original copyrighted work that has allegedly been infringed. If possible, include a URL to where it is posted online,” read one question. The response?
SNAPCHAT SOURCE CODE. IT WAS LEAKED AND A USER HAS PUT IT IN THIS GITHUB REPO. THERE IS NO URL TO POINT TO BECAUSE SNAP INC. DOESN’T PUBLISH IT PUBLICLY.
Snap told Motherboard the leak “did not compromise our application and had no impact on our community”. Gizmodo has reached out to Snap to see what the company is doing to prevent a similar incident from occurring again.
Using DMCA requests to remove private source code and protect intellectual property is not uncommon. As Motherboard helpfully points out, earlier this year, Apple’s own source code for its iBoot software, used to verify and authenticate the iOS device, was leaked on Github and removed in February.