An exploit recently discovered in the current generation of Grindr applications allows anyone with an internet connection and skill enough to query Grindr’s servers. Grindr, and applications like that, function using a cell phone’s geo-location information based on a combination of cell phone signal, proximity to wi-fi hot spots, and use of GPS tech. Generally, Grindr will provide users with a general idea of where they are in relation to one another denoted in a chosen unit of measurement.
When questioned about the security flaw, a Grindr representative claimed that the sharing of location data was a feature of the application, rather than a mistake. This particular bug, however functions somewhat differently than how the average Grindr user’s phone might.
By pinging Grindr’s servers for location requests linked to a particular Grindr user multiple times, it is possible to triangulate a person’s exact location with a degree of accuracy uncharacteristic of the application. In addition to detailed location information, it is possible to parse all of the information included on a Grindr user’s profile. All of this can be achieved without actually using Grindr from either a phone or a tablet, as explained by NDTV. The only protection that Grindr users have at their disposal currently is to completely disable any locational permissions given to the app, effectively crippling it.
According to NDTV, an anonymous samaritan has been using the flaw to let people using Grindr in countries known to be hostile towards gays know that their identities could, in theory, be compromised. As of the 19th, the hacktivist reported having contacted 100,000 Grindr users in over 70 countries with anti-gay laws in effect. Since then they’ve taken to posting warnings to a Twitter profile, YouTube Channel, and a Pastebin text page.
Watch a video demonstration explaining the security exploit, AFTER THE JUMP...
UPDATE: Grindr has reached out to us about this report, releasing the following statement:
"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. As always, our user security is our top priority and we do our best to keep our Grindr community secure."
Sharks bite only a few people each year, and yet they strike fear into our hearts. Hippos and crocodiles run way faster than we'd like to think and have nightmarish man-eating reputations of their own. And yet, this deadly assortment can't come close to the sinister, insidious, disease-carrying...mosquito!
Yes, as Joe Hanson of "It's Okay to Be Smart" reveals, mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on earth, and their reign of terror is nowhere near over. In his newest video, Joe gets serious and ponders the ethics of insecticide and other preventative measures against the itchy, malaria-ridden "pokes" of the the culprits.
It is a problem of huge importance around the world and, as Joe points out, there needs to be a conversation. Let us know your opinion of the mosquito in the comments below.
And check out the informative video, AFTER THE JUMP...
The World Congress of Families, a noted anti-gay hate group and major opponent of LGBTQ rights, is having a difficult time finding an Australian venue willing to host its annual conference scheduled to commence this upcoming Saturday. While the organization’s 2013 conference was hosted by the Australian Technology Park in Sydney, coordinators for the event have been turned away by four different potential hosts following their being informed of the conference’s purpose.
“Sexual radicals have launched a smear campaign to discredit the Melbourne conference, which misrepresents the international pro-family movement and the positions of the World Congress of Families,” The WCF wrote in an open letter to the country of Australia, pleading for last minute accommodations. Former Republican Majority Leader Tom Delay and Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee have thrown support behind the letter, hoping to appeal to Australia’s conservative population.
“We are frantic at the moment trying to organise something else, we’ve had four venue cancellations. I can’t talk to you because we are just too busy right now,” WCF organizer Margaret Butts told the Guardian Australia. “We have no venue at the moment – the police are telling us it’s a safety risk because of planned protests and demonstrations.”
In addition to not having a proper location to host the conference, the WCF also seems not to have anticipated the need for a security detail or insurance despite reports of protests being organized in opposition to the conference.
“This event is the convening of an extreme-right movement,” said Debbie Brennan, lead organizer for the Melbourne branch of the Radical Women socialist organization. “We will exercise our free speech right to make it as hard as we can for people to get into the congress. Certainly, we will be out there in force and having loud things to say.”
Read the World Congress of Families' open letter asking for a venue, AFTER THE JUMP...
Hunky superstar and humanitarian Matt Damon didn't just take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, he took on the global issues of sanitary water and drought. Damon is a co-founder of Water.org, a non-profit working toward providing clean water for the nearly 800 million people who currently do not have access to it; he is also a Californian well-aware of the horrendous drought currently impacting millions of Golden State citizens. So, rather than waste more of that precious, clean H2O, why not borrow some from the toilet while taking a stand against ALS?
That's right. Watch Matt Damon douse himself in toilet water for a good cause, AFTER THE JUMP...
Last Saturday during a game between the Rams and the Browns, a fan who goes by the Twitter handle "Fisher King" made a bold proclamation:
Rams vs Browns tonight. If Michael Sam sacks Johnny Football & gives the money sign, drinks are on me. For everyone in the world. Forever.— FISHER KING (@SquareKnight) August 23, 2014
Well...guess what happened. Realizing his mouth had written a check he couldn't cash, King floundered for a bit until Sam caught wind of the bet and suggested that King donate the money he would have spent intoxicating the globe to the charity of his choice: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, who have now received a nice $500 bump to their funding.
Berlin's first openly gay mayor will resign by the end of the year.
Happy Birthday, Alexander Skarsgard!
Israel and Hamas agree to long term cease-fire.
Scorcese film Shutter Island being developed into HBO series.
Republicans now have a 67% chance at winning back the Senate according to the NY Times' midterm calculus.
A red carpet round-up from last night's Emmys.
Inside the event, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Bryan Cranston re-created a Seinfeld era make out session.
And Jimmy Kimmel wore rainbow suspenders in honor of Mork from Ork.
Judges knew this year's Rose of Tralee winner, Maria Walsh, was gay prior to her publicly coming out: "Rose festival managing director Anthony O’Gara said the organisers were '100% delighted with her' as Rose and the fact that she was gay was neither here nor there. Asked on Radio Kerry if the judges were aware she was gay, Mr O’Gara answered: 'I would think they were, but I certainly didn’t go there with them — they’re very astute people.' He said Maria, 27, was openly gay, but the judges were no more interested in her sexuality than he was and it would not be their business to question it one way or the other."
Mormon woman excommunicated for promoting the ordination of women priests: "I was excommunicated for stating a fact, which is that men and women are not equal in our Church."
Could virtual reality games be so real they could scare you to death? "‘When the commercial version [of Occulus] comes out, somebody is going to scare somebody to death - somebody with a heart condition or something like that. It is going to happen. Absolutely.’"
Amazon has sold fewer Fire phones than Jack White sold vinyl records.
NYT faces backlash after front-page piece on Michael Brown refers to the slain teenager as "no angel".
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is now living with a Catholic priest who was arrested in 2010 for having sex in a parking lot.
NBC News reports that an American citizen has been killed while fighting for ISIS: "Douglas McAuthur McCain, of San Diego, California, was killed over the weekend fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), according to the Free Syrian Army. Photos of McCain's passport and of his body -- which feature a distinctive neck tattoo -- have been seen by NBC News. According to an activist linked to the Free Syrian Army who also saw the body and travel document, McCain was among three foreign jihadis fighting with ISIS who died during the battle. The State Department was not immediately able to comment on the report."
Meanwhile, ISIS is reportedly demanding $6.6 million for the release of 26-year-old American woman who was captured in Syria while serving as a humanitarian relief worker.
Is Michael Sam going to be cut before the season officially starts?
United Airlines flight forced to land after passengers get into fight over 'knee defender' device that prevents people from being able to recline their seat-backs.