You would think a dating app that knows your sexuality and HIV status would take thorough precautions to keep that info protected, but Grindr has disappointed the world once again — this time, with a gobsmackingly egregious security vulnerability that could have let literally anyone who could guess your email address into your user account.
Luckily, French security researcher Wassime Bouimadaghene discovered the vulnerability, perhaps before it could be exploited, and it’s now been fixed.
Unluckily for Grindr, the company ignored his disclosures — until security researcher Troy Hunt (of Have I Been Pwned) and journalist Zack Whittaker (of TechCrunch) each confirmed the issue and wrote about it.
The details need to be seen to be believed (so please look at the image below) but the short version is this: if you put an email address into Grindr’s password reset form, it would send a message back to your
A Grindr vulnerability allowed anyone who knows a user’s email address to easily reset their password and hijack their account. All a bad actor needed to do was type in a user’s email address in the password reset page and then pop open the dev tools to get the reset token. By adding that token to the end of the password reset URL, they won’t even need to access the victim’s inbox — that’s the exact link sent to the user’s email anyway. It loads the page where they can input a new password, giving them a way to ultimately take over the victim’s account.
BERLIN, GERMANY – APRIL 22: The logo of the dating app for gay and bisexual men Grindr is shown on the display of a smartphone on April 22, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)
The popular LGBT+ hook-up app Grindr has fixed a glaring security flaw that allowed hackers to take over any account if they knew the user’s registered email address, TechCrunch reports.
Wassime Bouimadaghene, a French security researcher, originally uncovered the vulnerability in September. But after he shared his discovery with Grindr and was met with radio silence, he decided to team up with Australian security expert Troy Hunt, a regional director at Microsoft and the creator of the world’s largest database of stolen usernames and passwords, Have I Been Pwned?, to draw attention to an issue that put Grindr’s more than 3 million daily active users at risk.
Hunt shared these findings with the outlet and on his website Friday, explaining that the problem stemmed from Grindr’s process for letting users reset their passwords. Like many social media sites,
Grindr, one of the world’s largest dating and social networking apps for gay, bi, trans, and queer people, has fixed a security vulnerability that allowed anyone to hijack and take control of any user’s account using only their email address.
Wassime Bouimadaghene, a French security researcher, found the vulnerability and reported the issue to Grindr. When he didn’t hear back, Bouimadaghene shared details of the vulnerability with security expert Troy Hunt to help.
The vulnerability was fixed a short time later.
Hunt tested and confirmed the vulnerability with help from a test account set up by Scott Helme, and shared his findings with TechCrunch.
Bouimadaghene found the vulnerability in how the app handles account password resets.
To reset a password, Grindr sends the user an email with a clickable link containing an account password reset token. Once clicked, the user can change their password and is allowed back into