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True, the social networking app that promises to ‘protect your privacy,’ exposed private messages and user locations – TechCrunch

True payments itself because the social networking app that may “shield your privateness.” However a safety lapse left considered one of its servers uncovered — and spilling non-public consumer knowledge to the web for anybody to seek out.

The app was launched in 2017 by Good day Cellular, a little-known digital cell service that piggybacks off T-Cellular’s community. True’s web site says it has raised $14 million in seed funding, and claimed greater than half 1,000,000 customers shortly after its launch.

However a dashboard for one of many app’s databases was uncovered to the web with out a password, permitting anybody to learn, browse and search the database — together with non-public consumer knowledge.

Mossab Hussein, chief safety officer at Dubai-based cybersecurity agency SpiderSilk, discovered the uncovered dashboard and supplied particulars to PJDM. Knowledge supplied by BinaryEdge, a search engine for uncovered databases and gadgets, confirmed the dashboard was uncovered since not less than early September.

After we reached out, True pulled the dashboard offline.

Bret Cox, chief government at True, confirmed the safety lapse however didn’t reply our particular questions, together with if the corporate deliberate to tell customers of the safety lapse or if it deliberate to reveal the incident to regulators underneath state knowledge breach notification legal guidelines.

The dashboard contained each day server logs courting again to February, and included the consumer’s registered e mail tackle or cellphone quantity, the contents of personal posts and messages between customers, and the consumer’s final recognized geolocation, which may establish the place a consumer was or had been. The dashboard additionally uncovered the e-mail and cellphone contacts uploaded by the consumer, which True makes use of to match with recognized mates within the app.

Not one of the knowledge was encrypted.

PJDM confirmed the dashboard was returning actual consumer knowledge by making a check account and asking Hussein to supply knowledge that solely we might know, such because the cellphone quantity used to register the account.

Hussein stated that the dashboard was additionally leaking account entry tokens, which may very well be used to hack into and hijack any consumer’s account. These account entry tokens appear like a line of random letters and numbers, however hold the consumer logged into the app with out having to enter their login particulars each time. Utilizing our check account, Hussein discovered our entry token from the dashboard, and used it to entry our account and put up a message on our feed.

The dashboard additionally uncovered one-time login codes, which True sends to an account’s related e mail tackle or cellphone quantity as a substitute of storing passwords.

True says deleting an account “will instantly take away your whole content material from our servers,” however deleting our check account didn’t take away our non-public messages, posts and photographs, and will nonetheless be searched from the dashboard.

“That is one other instance of how errors can occur at any group, even these which might be privacy-centric,” Hussein advised PJDM. “It highlights the significance of not solely constructing safe functions/web sites, but additionally guaranteeing that correct knowledge safety measures are embedded inside their inside procedures.”

A spokesperson for Good day Cellular couldn’t be reached.

Final yr, Hussein discovered an exposed database dashboard belonging to Blind, the “nameless social community,” favored by workers to publicly disclose malfeasance and wrongdoing at their firms.

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Zack Whittaker