The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports that a hacker has exposed serious security flaws in Grindr, the popular location-based gay hook-up app, in Australia.
The hacker set up a website, registered on 14 July last year, that allowed them to search for any Grindr user in Australia regardless of their location. The SMH article says its sources saw Grindr users' pseudonyms and passwords and allowed them send messages without the users' knowledge. The hacker's website was shut down last Friday after SMH interviewed the founder of the app, Joel Simkhai, and he sought legal action against the hacker, who was based in Sydney.
Grindr was launched in 2009 and announced at the end of last year that they had reached 3 million users in 192 countries – 800,000 in the US, 300,000 in the UK and 150,000 users in Australia. There was no confirmation whether users in other territories could potentially be exposed by the security flaw.
Simkhai said in a statement to SMH: 'We are diligently monitoring for hacking and we've added dedicated IT security specialists to our team. In the coming weeks, we'll be rolling out a major security upgrade to our platform'. Grindr said on their Twitter account today that they would release an update in the next few days that will presumably combat the security flaws.
Simkhai also reassured users that the Grindr chat function could not be monitored 'since we don't store chat history on our servers there is no way anyone can access all past chat history'.
If Grindr users are concerned they can permanently delete their account by following the steps on this page of Grindr’s website.