‘Hundreds Of Millions Of People’ May Be At Risk After Private Text Messages Exposed Online, Researchers Say

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Private Text Messages
A popular text messaging firm left its database, which houses millions of private texts, open online for an extended period of time, researchers say. Image created by Moguldom.

What you say in a text message can hurt you – even if it’s supposed to be private. This is the lesson a recent data leak by TrueDialogue is causing to resound. The popular text messaging firm left its database, which houses millions of private texts, “open online for an extended period of time,” reported USA Today.

The problem was discovered by vpnMentor, which specializes in online privacy and cybersecurity. They made the announcement Sunday that TrueDialogue left millions of Americans at risk  by having message logs  “completely unsecured and unencrypted.”

Based in Texas, TrueDialogue calls itself “The Leading SMS Provider for Mass Text Messaging, SMS Marketing and Personalized 2-Way SMS Texting at Scale.” It reaches five billion subscribers worldwide.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 68: Jamarlin Martin

Jamarlin talks about the recent backlash against Lebron James for not speaking up for Joshua Wong and the violent Hong Kong protestors.

Despite its scale, vpnMentor said the company put “millions of Americans” at risk. Information exposed included: usernames and passwords to sites like Facebook and Google, phone numbers, finance information and other sensitive information.

Researchers at vpnMentor said, “The impact of this data leak can have a lasting impression for hundreds of millions of users,” including making them vulnerable to identity theft, blackmail schemes, etc. They said they offered their services to TrueDialogue, but never heard back from the company.

“We contacted the company. We disclosed our findings and offered our expertise in helping them close the data leak and ensure nobody was exposed to risk,” researchers from the vpnMentor said. “The database has since been closed, but TrueDialog never replied to us.”