A Georgia Tech student and two of his roommates have hacked Yo, the mostly pointless app that has the whole tech community freaking out. The app was built in only eight hours, so it isn't shocking it was so easy to hack. The college kids emailed TechCrunch the details of the hack:
We can get any Yo user’s phone number (I actually texted the founder, and he called me back). We can spoof Yo’s from any users, and we can spam any user with as many Yo. We could also send any Yo user a push notification with any text we want (though we decided not to do that).
Yo users shouldn't be too worried about their privacy. Considering Yo doesn't actually do anything except send "Yo" to your contact list, there wasn't all that much to hack. It certainly isn't ideal that some Georgia Tech kids have your phone number, but really, that's what you get for using this ridiculous app.
If you are getting strange push notifications or an aggressive amount of Yos from unfamiliar user names, simply delete the app and go back to texting your friends. It's only been a couple days of Yo madness, so I think we are all still capable of basic human interaction, and not just Yos.
There are some other Yo issues. There is no verification system for celebrities on Yo, so one user claimed the username "ElonMusk." He has been tricking people into thinking Elon is actually Yo-ing them. He's willing to trade the username for a Tesla Model S.
Another user experienced a really peculiar hack. Instead of playing the regular "Yo!" sound, they are hearing "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley. So, the app is Rick-Rolling people. Here's the Vine:
Or Arbel, Yo's founder who is very serious about the useless app, confirmed to TechCrunch that the app was "having security issues." While some of the issues were fixed, they are still working to resolve all of them, "taking this very seriously."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.