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Amazon’s Ring Neighbors App Exposed Users’ Precise Locations and Home Addresses

A security flaw in Ring’s Neighbors app was exposing the precise locations and home addresses of users who had posted to the app. From a report: Ring, the video doorbell and home security startup acquired by Amazon for $1 billion, launched Neighbors in 2018 as a breakaway feature in its own standalone app. Neighbors is one of several neighborhood watch apps, like Nextdoor and Citizen, that lets users anonymously alert nearby residents to crime and public-safety issues. While users’ posts are public, the app doesn’t display names or precise locations — though most include video taken by Ring doorbells and security cameras. The bug made it possible to retrieve the location data on users who posted to the app, including those who are reporting crimes. But the exposed data wasn’t visible to anyone using the app. Rather, the bug was retrieving hidden data, including the user’s latitude and longitude and their home address, from Ring’s servers. Another problem was that every post was tied to a unique number generated by the server that incremented by one each time a user created a new post. Although the number was hidden from view to the app user, the sequential post number made it easy to enumerate the location data from previous posts — even from users who aren’t geographically nearby.

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