Waze responds to security concerns about flaw that can help hackers track users

Waze responds to security concerns about flaw that can help hackers track users

In a blog post published on Thursday, Google-owned driving assistance app Waze has responded to the security concerns recently raised by a research which shows that a flaw in the app can potentially give hackers the ability to track the whereabouts of the app's users.

The research highlighting the vulnerability in Waze has been carried out by researchers at University of California Santa Barbara; and has been documented in a Fusion report released this week. For the research, the researchers created hundreds of fake driver profiles, to keep tabs on a particular real profile and track its location more or less in real time.

According to the researchers, the exploit which can allow hackers to track Waze users leverages the driving assistance app's feature which gives users an idea about other nearby users, and shows that the data seen by them is 'live' data. The in-question Waze feature also gives options to users in case they need help.

In the wake of the security concerns raised by the research, Waze said in the blog post that the vulnerability, though legit, is not as dire as it has been made out to be. In the blog post, Waze has essentially tried to address what it calls "severe misconceptions" about the research.

Nonetheless, appreciating the researchers for reporting the vulnerability, Waze said that it has "implemented safeguards in the past 24 hours to address the vulnerability and prevent ghost riders from affecting system behavior and performing similar tracking activities."