If you used Tinder, the dating app that caught our generation by storm, before Jan.1 of this year, consider yourself lucky that a creepy Internet psychopath stalker didn’t come to your house and murder you in your sleep. For a brief while, all users of the Tinder dating app had their exact location exposed. It probably would’ve been safer to walk down Harlem with a $100 bill pinned to your tweed Brooks Brothers suit jacket.
According to Businessweek, on Oct. 23, 2013, a hacking company called Include Security first found a loophole in the Tinder location services. This is how the app finds people in your geographical range. Include Security founder Eric Cabetas contacted Tinder immediately, but he did not receive a response until Dec. 2, when a Tinder employee told him the company would need more time to fix the problem. Since then, Tinder CEO Sean Rad hasn’t made any legitimate public comment about the degree of the security breach. Rad argues Tinder suffered a temporary “four hour” loophole, while Cabetas claims the breach lasted anywhere between 40 and 165 days.
Apparently any hacker with a basic set of skills could pinpoint a target’s location within 100 feet. I say “target” because I assume anyone who would hack Tinder to find someone’s exact location is attempting some type of twisted murder scenario. Or, you know, stalking an old girlfriend.
I’m not sure which is more concerning: the fact that literally any stranger of the opposite sex could track your exact location, someone actually hacked Tinder to find other people’s exact locations, or that the CEO of Tinder didn’t make users aware of the glitch. One of the driving factors behind the app’s popularity is its anonymity, which includes both name and location. While we can assume females, who make up 45 percent of the Tinder users, were targeted, that doesn’t make it any less disturbing for the male population. Speaking for all of us, there is nothing scarier than a disgruntled ex-girlfriend.
[via Valley Wag]