Reports: Hackers Hit Hookup App Manhunt, Steal User Info

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday April 15, 2021

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Stock image  (Source:Getty Images)

Hackers cracked a database belonging to gay hookup app Manhunt and stole the information of more than a half million users, including "usernames, email addresses and passwords," the company confirmed, Tech Crunch reports.

The hack occurred "in early February 2021," Manhunt said in "a notice filed with the Washington attorney general's office," the article added. The app "claims to have 6 million male members," Tech Crunch noted, and "an attorney for ZwillGen on behalf of Manhunt" told Tech Crunch that "11% of Manhunt users were affected."

That would mean the data for around 660,000 users had been stolen, if both the membership stats and the estimate of how much information the hackers got are accurate.

The notice provided by the app to the Washington State Attorney General said that Manhunt "immediately took steps to remediate the threat and secure its systems," and added that the app had "retained a third-party forensics consultant" in order "to confirm that there is no ongoing unauthorized access to Manhunt systems."

"The notice did not say how the passwords were scrambled, if at all, to prevent them from being read by humans," Tech Crunch article said. "Passwords scrambled using weak algorithms can sometimes be decoded into plain text, allowing malicious hackers to break into their accounts."

The app had not told users that the hack took place, the article noted, but had "tweeted that, 'At this time, all Manhunt users are required to update their password to ensure it meets the updated password requirements' " in March.

Tech Crunch noted that due to the nature of dating apps, data they contain is a tempting target for "malicious hackers," and recalled that several suicides followed in the wake of a 2015 hack of the app Ashley Madison and the subsequent public sharing of user information online.

Ashley Madison touted itself as an app for people already in relationships who wanted to have affairs.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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