Synack Security Research Advisory: Grindr Portable Application Geolocation Ideas Disclosure

Synack Security Research Advisory: Grindr Portable Application Geolocation Ideas Disclosure

Synack initially described two info disclosure vulnerabilities to Grindr in March 2014. On August 16, 2014 exploit details of one of many two claimed weaknesses happened to be printed on Pastebin by an anonymous man or woman who individually recognized the susceptability inside Grindr software. An additional vulnerability happens to be noiselessly patched by Grindr. During Synack’s research, many troubles happened to be discovered that are not vulnerabilities but have safeguards implications.

Since unpatched vulnerability is currently general public where tend to be unconfirmed stories of gay individuals being identified because Egyptian law enforcement making use of this susceptability, Synack is writing the below Security Advisory to be certain Grindr individuals are generally entirely notified of these threat together with the effect of these problems for their privateness and physical security.


Synack professionals found out two weaknesses allowing an opponent to keep track of basically all Grindr user’s areas in real-time. The most important vulnerability let an attacker to review a user’s general location as a result of the with the toes, and even track his or her action eventually. This really is tough, therefore a very high standard of precision really should not be given to an anonymous attacker. Another vulnerability identified inside the Grindr application would continue steadily to broadcast a user’s area regardless if you decided away from location-sharing for the application’s location.

a proof of concept was created to demonstrate the capability at a city-scale amount; through info analysis was actually achievable to ascertain people’ identities and take a look at sample of being (household and function sites). It ought to be noted about the opponent can communicate anonymously making use of the server-side API; installing the software or developing a person accounts isn’t needed for a lot of if not all of APIs.

As soon as in addition to different page ideas particularly a person profile picture, social media marketing associated with a Grindr accounts because user delivered facts, a user’s (perhaps masked) identity may be easily announced. This could be definitely difficult for Grindr consumers that wish to always keep their house or work place or particular personality private, simply deciding to use Grindr product at certain times.

During vulnerability reports and disclosure no person Grindr users happened to be purposely or inadvertently identified. All info logged happens to be irrecoverably ruined. The goal of these studies had not been to recognize Grindr users but helping shield the ones want to stay private.

Grindr is definitely well-liked social networking software for homosexual and bisexual guy, with a self-reported four million reports in 192 nations.

CVE ID: Not One appointed.

The range of CVE is bound to application issues that could be hooked on the computer or machines controlled by associates. In cases like this the weakness is present because central Grindr machines are providing info which you can use in trilateration strikes. Dealing with this weakness involves shifting Grindr computers and/or system design.

Vulnerability 1: Grindr enables customers to view how far aside they’ve been off their customers. Regrettably, this relative locality data is often described towards highest possible preciseness, (commonly on to the sub-foot standard of accuracy). An assailant can adjust the Grindr exclusive API to reveal a user’s range relative to haphazard coordinates offered by the assailant. Due to insufficient API rates constraining, the attacker can use an iterative approach and take advantage of typical trilateration algorithms to assess a user’s precise area coordinates in realtime.

Grindr have introduced an announcement indicating this may not a weakness but an attribute of their software.

Susceptability 2: The Grindr app broadcast consumer location records regardless if a person opted of revealing in product controls. This place info was not revealed aesthetically with other Grindr individuals but had been transmitted, letting an attacker to trace (via weakness number 1) any individual. Since this weakness is silently patched by Grindr in May 2014, consumers’ that select from spreading her venue won’t be able to get followed.

Synack analysts furthermore uncovered extra issues that might safeguards implications. While these aren’t weaknesses, with the first susceptability above they can additionally challenge the security belonging to the Grindr individuals.

1. The user’s exact venue is actually revealed to Grindr’s machines, regardless if “show point” happens to be disabled by the cellphone owner. While revealing one’s venue is essential within the efficiency of the app (and is particularly carried out over SSL), revealing this data to this a high degree of consistency to a third party (i.e. Grindr) might be a privacy focus for customers.

2. The apple’s ios Grindr software does not pin SSL records. SSL pinning happens to be an additional film of security that guarantees a client are only going to talk to a well-defined collection of machines. Because the Grindr iOS application is not fed SSL pinning, a man-in-the-middle encounter could happen. If an opponent offers a compromised core certificates, or can force a person to install a certificate (case in point by mailing the individual with an attached certification) the connection might hijacked in addition to the user’s real locality is generally reported.


Synack proposes that Grindr users erase and stop utilization of the Grindr application till the company possess attended to the best weakness complete in this particular advisory.

Mitigations: nothing

Workarounds: shut down area services “show point” for Grindr app. Keep in mind that this will have an impact on product usability due to the goal of the applying and will not entirely get rid of the risk of help and advice disclosure since the user’s perfect area is still are carried to Grindr and the user will program as a ‘nearby’ cellphone owner to others.


Account: The 1st vulnerabilities had been recognized by Colby Moore. Ongoing investigation and the advancement of future problem am practiced in conjunction with Patrick Wardle. Both Colby and Patrick is Synack staff members.

Synack permits organisations to control elite group professionals using more current approaches to a reliable, verified unit to keep security weaknesses from getting company threats. Synack’s solution is the vibrant, on-demand portion of their security organize.

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