Grindr gay-dating app exposed millions of users’ private data, messages, locations

According to an NBC report, the Grindr gay-dating app was affected by 2 security issues (now patched) that could expose the information of its more than 3 million daily users.

Every day we read of a new data breach, in some cases, exposed data could have a severe impact on the victim.

According to an NBC report, the Grindr gay-dating app was affected by 2 security issues (now patched) that could expose the information of its more than 3 million daily users.

An attacker could have exploited the feature to access location data, private messages to other users, and profile information, even if they’d opted out of sharing such information.

The security issues were identified by Trever Faden, CEO of the property management startup Atlas Lane, while he was working at his website C*ckblocked that allowed users to see who blocked them on Grindr.

Faden discovered that once a Grindr logged in his service, it was possible to access to a huge quantity of data related to their Grindr account, including unread messages, email addresses, and deleted photos.

NBC noted that C*ckblocked exploited a “similar security loophole” to one that was recently used by Cambridge Analytica to create a profile of more than 50 million Facebook users.

“Grindr makes public the location of many of its users, but allows for users to opt out of this feature. Faden found that he could find the location of users who had opted out if they connected their Grindr profiles through his third-party website.reported NBC.

“One could, without too much difficulty or even a huge amount of technological skill, easily pinpoint a user’s exact location,” Faden explained. 

Grindr gay-dating app

Grindr confirmed it was aware of the issue discovered by Faden and it had addressed them. Faden shut down his service after Grindr changed its policy on access to data on which users had blocked other users.

Grindr recommends its users to avoid using Grindr logins for other apps or web services.

“Grindr moved quickly to make changes to its platform to resolve this issue,” the company said in the statement. “Grindr reminds all users that they should never give away their username and password to any third parties claiming to provide a benefit, as they are not authorized by Grindr and could potentially have malicious intent.”

The company published the following statement on its official Twitter account:

In the past, other experts found similar issues in the Grindr service, in 2014 researchers at cybersecurity firm Synack found that it allowed any user see the profiles and locations of people. Unfortunately, the problems were not completely fixed and two years after Wired published an interesting article about the experiments of experts that were still able to figure out users’ locations.



Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – privacy, Grindr gay-dating app)


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