It used to be that once you took a racy photo, it was out in the world forever. Your best bet was that a former flame didn’t leak it to the internet. Snapchat came along and attempted to cure that problem by creating non-savable images. That way, if you, or more likely your impetuous child, sent a photo, it can’t be copied — except it more or less can be. Apparently Snapchat, while able to tell you if someone took a screenshot of your image, can’t prevent people from taking said screenshot.
But now, Decipher Forensics can absolutely, positively keep your dirty Snapchat photos off the internet … you hope. And here’s the thing — to do so, it will apparently cost you $300-$500 per device. Hope your daughter’s boyfriend didn’t take a screenshot and send the blowjob pics to all his hockey teammates — because that could get really expensive. Oh, and here’s the worse news: so far the technology is only available for Android phones. No word yet what the holdup is on iPhones, but for now, Apple users, are out of luck.
“This type of information can be very valuable in any investigation, especially one involving exploitation of a minor,” Richard Hickman, a lead examiner involved in the research, said via a Decipher Forensics press release. “This research will help law enforcement officials retrieve what has been believed to be unrecoverable.”
See, the way it works is that Snapchat adds a .NOMEDIA extension to the file code, preventing the image, once deleted, from being accessed by phone. But the image isn’t really gone — someone with some know-how could access the memory of the file and disseminate it to a PC where it could then be copied and transferred. And you’d be surprised at how tech-savvy some bitter ex-boyfriends can be.
Decipher Forensics will essentially use the same tactics to pull the saved Snapchat images out of the device and delete them forever. The price tag sounds steep, but think of how much a sex pic could really cost you, and you’ll realize that if this works, it’s a bargain.
Decipher Forensics, which formed in 2011, wasn’t created expressly for search-and-destroy Snapchat missions, but with the sexting game in full swing, this should be a nice little moneymaker for them.