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Koo, India’s Twitter alternative found leaking personal user data

On: February 11, 2021
Highlights

  • Koo is an Indian alternative to Twitter
  • French hacker Robert Baptiste claims that Koo leaks email, name, gender, martial status and more
  • Baptiste had previously reported security flaws in the Aadhaar and Aarogya Setu app

Robert Baptiste (who goes by Elliot Alderson on Twitter), a French ethical hacker, first revealed security flaws in the Aadhaar database way back in 2018. Last year, the Aarogya Setu app was his target. Now, Baptiste has tested the Indian microblogging site, Koo, after his followers urged him to do so. In a tweet, he revealed that the app is leaking personal information of its users. 

Also Read: Koo app: what it is, how to download on Android and iOS, top 5 features of the desi Twitter alternative

Koo is a desi Twitter alternative and has shot to limelight after the government’s spat with the Jack Dorsey-helmed popular microblogging platform. 

Indian Twitter alternative Koo found leaking sensitive user information

In the tweet, Baptiste shared screenshots of the developer’s code for Koo. He spent 30 minutes on the app and mentioned that it was leaking sensitive user data such as email addresses, date of birth, name, marital status and gender.

In a subsequent tweet, Baptiste revealed domain details of Koo as well. The IP’s geolocation showed as the US and its registrant as Tao Zhou based in Jiangxi, China. The registrant’s name is also associated with more than 100 domains. 

The hacker also shared a screenshot that the app was down along with an image that showed the message ‘no healthy upstream’. Koo’s official Twitter handle stated that its servers were down due to unprecedented demand. The microblogging platform’s priority is to use India-based servers only.

The Koo app has been promoted by several Indian government officials and celebrities. It has gained popularity in India after Twitter refused to block several accounts flagged by the government, as thisviolated the right to freedom of speech. 

The Koo app is available on desktop, iOS and Android devices. The app debuted in March last year and had won the government’s Digital India AatmaNirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge. 

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Viraj Gawde

Viraj loves being in the creative field. Being a tech guy and resident tech advisor for his friends and family, his interest lies in smartphones, laptops and cameras. Passionate about creating art, his forte lies in photography. In his downtime, he loves gaming on his self-built rig and supporting FC Barcelona.