The Yik Yak application on the anonymous bulletin board reveals the exact location of its users

Yik Yak application, which acts as a local anonymous message board, allows users to find the exact location և unique IDs, Motherboard Reports:. The researcher, who analyzed the data of Yik Yak, was able to enter the exact GPS coordinates, where the messages and comments come from, at an exact distance of 10-15 feet, և says that he brought: his discoveries in April to the company.

Yik Yak, first launched in 2013, was popular in college universities, where it was often used for gossip, posting updates և cyber attack other students. After reduced compliance և after unsuccessful attempts content moderation, the app was turned off in 2017, only to be resurrected last year. in november said the company it has over 2 million users.

Motherboard He spoke with David Teter, a computer science student living in Madison, Wisconsin, who raised security concerns with Yik Yaki and continued to publish his findings. Blog post:. The app shows the records of nearby users, but only displays the approximate location, such as “about 1 mile” up to five miles away, to give users an idea of ​​where their nearest community updates are coming from.

“The combination of GPS coordinates and user IDs can make users anonymous, find out where people live, as many are likely to use it from home,” he said. -15 feet away. This combination of information can be used to track or track a particular person. restrict user. one address.

how Motherboard The data is available to researchers like Teather who know how to use tools և code to extract information, but the risk was real enough to prompt Teather to bring it to Yik Yak’s attention.

“Because user IDs are permanent, it is possible to find out the user’s daily life, when and where they publish YikYaks, this can be used to find out the daily life of a particular YikYak user,” Teather writes. He listed other ways to misuse data, such as finding out where someone lives, tracking down users, or breaking into someone’s house when they are not there.

Yik Yak did not respond to a request for comment The Verge.

According to: Motherboard The latest version of the app released by Yik Yak no longer reveals the exact location of user identifiers, but Tether says she can still retrieve that information using previous versions of the app.

“If YikYak had taken this more seriously, they would have restricted the return of these fields, broken older versions, and forced users to upgrade to a newer version of the app,” he wrote in a blog post.


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