App stores pull 'Yelp for conservatives' over security flaws

App stores pull 'Yelp for conservatives' over security flaws
© Greg Nash

An app launched to help supporters of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE find restaurants where they will be "safe" from confrontations with staff or other customers over their political views was taken down from Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store on Wednesday.

The 63red Safe app, dubbed the “Yelp for conservatives,” sought to identify restaurants and other locations where Trump supporters could openly support the president without fear of backlash from his detractors or protests.

ADVERTISEMENT

Instead, the app was pulled Wednesday after it was revealed to contain a security flaw that allowed any user to access usernames, email addresses and other personal information of users without their knowledge or consent.

SFgate.com reports that the app was removed from Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store on Wednesday following news of the breach.

The Twitter account @fs0c131y, which claims to be a French security researcher and goes the name Elliot Alderson, likely a reference to the main character of the television show "Mr. Robot," demonstrated in a pair of tweets how the app could be used to access the personal information of users, and tweeted a screenshot from the app that appeared to show app founder Scott Wallace's email address, username and password, though the latter was blacked out by the account.

"Do not use this app, your personal security is at risk. @63Red In order to #MAGA, you can start by learn how to code an application," the account tweeted.

Wallace fired back in a Medium post, accusing the researcher of accessing the 63red database as part of a "politically-motivated attack" against conservatives.

"As we have seen across the United States, conservatives particularly have come under attack for their political beliefs — verbally, physically, and electronically. This is unacceptable in a free society, and we will take every action to stop it, and assist our users in that as well," Wallace wrote.

"We see this person’s illegal and failed attempts to access our database servers as a politically-motivated attack, and will be reporting it to the FBI later today," he continued.

There's no evidence, however, that the Twitter account committed a crime by using the app's own programming to access the user information, and the account's owner has not claimed to have engaged in hacking.

Wallace told Fox News in an interview earlier this week that his company hopes to provide a safe atmosphere for all Americans to enjoy local businesses and restaurants.

“We wanted to make sure that people could let others know what restaurants may have a political bent. We’re not looking to try and find restaurants that are ‘conservative’ or ‘pro-Trump,' " Wallace said.

“We want businesses to understand that there’s no money in politics,” he added. “We want to make sure everyone’s safe out there.”

A short notice on 63red's website states that the app will be "Coming (back) soon!" to both Apple and Google's app stores.