Bil Browning

Hackers Warn Grindr Users About Security Flaw

Filed By Bil Browning | August 25, 2014 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Grindr, hacker attack, homophobic countries, security breach

grindr-logo-rectangular.jpgAre Grindr users in homophobic countries in danger of being located by police or thugs thanks to a security flaw in the app? An anonymous tipster, who claims to have contacted the company about the vulnerability, has sent thousands of messages to Grindr users worldwide to alert them to the possibility.

Grindr's app only shows the amount of distance between two users.

The security breach, however, allegedly allows location-based data to be "extrapolated by querying Grindr's servers from three different places and triangulating the information received," according to NDTV.

This data then can be presented on a map with flags indicating where each user within a certain area is located.

This is possible because anyone can query Grindr's servers without being authenticated.

Grindr claims this isn't a flaw, but a feature. The company told Pink News UK, "We don't view this as a security flaw. As part of the Grindr service, users rely on sharing location information with other users as core functionality of the application and Grindr users can control how this information is displayed."

"For Grindr users concerned about showing their proximity, we make it very easy for them to remove this option and we encourage them to disable 'show distance' in their privacy settings," they continued. "As always, our user security is our top priority and we do our best to keep our Grindr community secure."

There's a video after the break of the hacker using the information to demonstrate how easy it is to find the real location of app users.

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